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

The pages from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s were written by Bill Nelson, but were left out when George reconfigured the site, starting about 2004. There are also signs that some of these pages were still incomplete the last time they were published (about 2003). For your convenience, we have copied them from the 2003 version and "filled in the blanks" where we could. That said, Bill was just starting on the 1970s pages when health problems forced him to quit, so they're quite short. I am just glad that the brothers took this on in the first place, so the fact that the 1970s pages only show a few unusual pieces does not detract from what they were able to accomplish overall.


This is another petal reflector set popular in the 1970's. It's an early version with the petal reflectors integrated into the wedge base. As is typical with outfits containing plastic components, the petal type reflectors have actually begun to fuse with the light socket over the years, making removal of the reflectors difficult.

These sets used 6 Volt Bulbs which were brighter than the 2.5 volt bulbs we have today. They may have been discontinued due to safety regulations, which would soon require the use of cooler burning lamps in decorative lighting outfits.

The pictures and outfit are from the collection of J. S. Pilliteri.


General Electric first offered their Satin Bright lamps in 1969, but they really became better sellers in the early 1970s. The lamps were quite pretty even when unlit, but the paint coating was quite thin and chipped easily. They were discontinued by the mid-1970s. These lamps are from the J. S. Pilliteri collection.


GE Twinkle Bright Bulbs make use of a bi-metal strip which bends when heated. As the strip bends, it moves away from it's contact, breaking the circuit and turning the bulb off. Then, as the strip cools, it moves back to the contact and the bulb lights up again. Twinkle Bright bulbs were made in the U.S.A. are most sought by collectors. These bulbs had a heavier coating on them than did their imported counterparts, giving the bulbs a deep, rich color. From the collection of and photographed by J. S. Pilliteri.


From the collection of Chris Cuff, this unbranded mantle or tabletop lighted sign says "Merry Christmas" on one side, and "Happy New Year" on the other. When used on a mantle piece, the sign could be turned around a few days after Christmas to help ring in the New Year. Mid-1970s.


This set of 20 lights dates to the mid-1970s and is a straight line outfit imported from Japan. The outfit uses push-in replaceable lamps. From the collection of Chris Cuff.


From General Electric, here is a unique little wall or mantle tree. Using a string of 20 Merry Midget replaceable lamps, the unit is a flat cardboard piece covered with greenery. The lamps are inserted through the back. The tree sits in a simulated brick holder. A surprisingly attractive display. Mid 1970s. From the collection of Chris Cuff.


Here is a late 1970s Canadian set of NOMA Bubble Lites from the collection of Chris Cuff. Surprisingly well made, these tiny little bubblers have screw type bases, making the lamps easily replaceable. The design of these mini bubble lites is better than any offered in the United States, and this set is quite hard to find.


In 1983, Avon, the cosmetics and fragrance company, commissioned a set of reproduction figural lights for the 1984 Christmas selling season. They partnered with the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Using five examples from the museum's permanent collection, Avon contracted with Taiwan Decorating Lights Company Limited to produce modern reproductions of the lamps. The lights were offered in a set of seven, and were candelabra based hand painted milk glass. A set of three replacement lamps was also available. The lamps are marked HFM, for Henry Ford Museum, a "G" in a circle, and also 120V Taiwan. These lights can easily be confused with the true originals until inspected under magnification for the HFM and Taiwan marks.


For a brief time in the 1980s, attempts were made to revitalize the almost non-existent bubble light market. Along with these Christmas Tree style bubblers, Church and Snowman sets were also offered. They were issued on an experimental basis in just a few markets, and were not successful sellers. To my knowledge, they were never marketed nationally.



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