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The Depression Years
Page Five

Date Manufacturer


Inside View Outside View
ca 1939 Unknown

Here is another set of lights offering the Detector lamps. The set is unbranded, but I strongly suspect that it is a Reliance offering.  Also shown above is an interesting variation of this set that, while sold in an identical box, was not actually a Detector outfit. The set included was actually a parallel wired seven light string. This variation was sold in 1941, when production supplies were running short due to the War. The mismatched set has an over pasted label that attempts to make the box contents match the box description.

ca 1939 Unknown This "generic" outfit is not marked as to maker. It does, however, include an interesting instruction card, explaining how to secure the lights onto the tree branches without using clips of any kind. The sockets on this outfit are of green Bakelite, which in itself is most unusual. This is the only outfit like this I've ever seen.
ca 1939 Holiday? Another "generic" outfit, using imported C-9 intermediate based lamps. All three forms of Christmas lighting, C-6, C-7 and C-9 were offered in this box style.
ca 1939 Majestic A very colorful box for the times, this set was marketed for just three or four years.
ca 1939 Associated Manufacturers Company An expanded 15 light set in an unusually plain box.
ca 1940 NOMA A tree top star with glass rays. The edges of the glass are ground at an angle, so that when lit, light concentrates around the edges of the rays, giving a neon-like effect. Later versions of the star had Lucite points.
ca 1940 Novolite This box style was used by many companies, including Peerless and Reliance. This set, branded "Novolite", is the only box of the brand that this collector has ever found. It uses an American-made cord with imported Japanese C-9 intermediate based lamps.
ca 1940 Paramount The Paramount Star-Lites were a popular offering, and were sold both before and after World War II. The stars were offered in both one color and two color versions, and snapped together, allowing for lamp replacement if necessary.
ca 1940 Peerless As the Great Depression dragged on, Christmas lighting manufacturers did everything they could to reduce costs. This example shows the Peerless company's cost cutting measures, finally marketing their lights in a very generic and low cost box. Compare this box with their 1936 offering pictured above.
ca 1940 Polly An expanded 15 light outfit, marketed in a cost cutting box simply printed with gold stars.
ca 1940 Reliance An inexpensive bell light set, marketed in colors typical of the late 1930s.
ca 1940 Reliance C-6, C-7 and C-9 lighting sets were marketed by Reliance in this box style. Atypical for that company, the sets used American made lamps and the boxes proudly proclaimed their inclusion. This set employed Westinghouse lamps.
ca 1940 Radiant Although most outfits sold under the Radiant name included imported lamps, this set has been stamped "Equipped with GE Mazda Lamps" and the front bottom edge.
ca 1940 Royal Royal sold this set of bell lights, almost identical to those sold by Reliance. This sets is another example of cost-cutting measures used in the late 30s, with thin cords and less colorful box printing.

End of Chapter



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