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1950-1959 page 3

Editor's Notes about the 1950s-1970s Old Christmas Tree Lights Pages:

This chapter and the ones that precede are attempts to reconstruct of Bill Nelson's original chapters on Christmas lighting in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Unfortunately, they were lost when Bill passed away and his brother George took over the site in 2004. In addition, Bill was just learning FrontPage, and he often made mistakes that caused his photos not to link up properly when he changed servers, so a number of his photos went missing during his lifetime. In many cases, only the thumbnail survived; in some not even that. We have done an exhaustive search for the missing photos and restored them when we could. But to make these pages more readable, we have deleted descriptions of photos that are not shown. If you are researching this period and wish to see even those descriptions, please visit the 2003 version of this site.



This 1954 set from Royalites is their number 207, described in their catalog as follows: "120 volt candelabra base set with 7 assorted color GE C-7 General Electric bulbs, ROYAL KLIPS, female connector and extension plug. Packaged in NEW full-view cellophane-window box, handsomely designed and printed in full color." This was a new box design for Royal electric, and the "Deluxe" nomenclature on the box is actually referring to the packaging, not the set itself. Sadly, this was the only year the set was actually manufactured, for the Christmas lighting division of Royal Electric burned in 1955 and was never rebuilt.


From NOMA, this set of individually twinkling lights is powered by a low voltage transformer. The lamps each have a bi-metallic type of twinkling device, and since the set is wired in parallel, each lamp runs independently of the others. NOMA offered this outfit for sale for only four years,1956 through 1960. It is a hard one for the collector to find in good condition today. There were two varieties of the outfit listed in the NOMA catalogs, set number 3120 which had assorted color lamps and set number 3119. which is pictured here, with all clear lamps. (The four colored lamps in the set are improper replacements). The outfit is really quite pretty when running, as the lamps are bright and twinkle merrily. You can hear each of the lamps make a little pinging sound as they come on and off.


Here is an inexpensive twinkling light set from Holly. The transformer used in this set is identical to the one used in the NOMA outfit pictured above-both are manufactured by the Marex Company. Strangely, this less expensive outfit uses heavier wire than do most outfits of this type, and the festoon is much less prone to tangling. Another interesting feature is the fact that the box says "LIFE" in bold lettering, referring to the fact that the twinkling lights "add life to your tree". More likely is the blatant attempt to confuse the buying public into thinking that the outfit was advertised in LIFE Magazine, as many competing products proudly proclaim on their boxes. This set is circa 1959.


Offered by NOMA beginning in the very late 1950s, this set of Kristal Lites uses General Electric's "lighted ice" type lamps. There are many variations of these lamps, some using a white Styrofoam covering (called Sno-Balls), real glass crystals and plastic crystals. The lamps reached their peak of popularity in the 1970s, and are actually still made today. General Electric sold their own outfits under their "Lighted Ice" trademark. This set is from the collection of Chris Cuff.




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