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

This chapter and the ones that follow 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.

As the 1950s faded into the 60s, more and more creative and exotic lighting sets were offered to the American public. Shown on these pages are typical examples of what was offered for sale, both common and unusual...

Jim Stephan shares with us this most unusual outfit. Called Rainbow Wink-O-Lites, the lamp's inside frosted dome covers several smaller light bulbs of different colors. Each of these interior lamps flashes on and off independently, effectively creating a rainbow effect of ever changing colors and effects. These lamps are extremely delicate, and burn out very quickly, and therefore were not an effective product. They were sold for only a couple of years, and were distributed by Paramount and Gibraltar.


Chris Cuff shares this set with us from his collection of Italian lights. This is an early example of the "new" push-in type base, designed to overcome the disadvantage of the miniature screw-in type lamps always working their way loose in the sockets. The box boldly states not to twist the lamps, as doing so would shatter the lamps. The set is from the early 1960s.


Here is a General Electric Merry Midget 35 loop style light set. This early midget light set used the two pin bulb base and had green Berry-Beads on the sockets. Made in Taiwan, this set dates to the mid 1960s, and was very well made. The photo has been kindly shared with us from by J. S. Pilliteri of New Jersey. The set is from his collection.


The Westinghouse company came out with these marbleized lamps in the very late 1960s, and continued to sell them for a few years in the 70s. Quite hard to find today, they were not popular sellers, as when lit, they lose their marbleized look and appear as ordinary C-7 lamps.


During the 1960s, Americans began to light the outside of their homes with a vengeance. While large outdoor sets like this one from Santalites had been available for years, they did not really sell well until this decade.


This set from Pennant is another typical example of the popular large outdoor lighting sets that were huge sellers during the 1960s.


Sears, Roebuck and Company sold lighting sets under their Happi Time brand for years. This typical C-7 light set was actually made for Sears by the NOMA Company until that company went bankrupt in the mid 1960s.


This C-7 lighting outfit was distributed by the World Wide Company, the successor to NOMA after that company's bankruptcy in 1965. For a short time, light sets were sold under the name "NOMA World Wide," but the NOMA name was soon dropped.


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