Lighting is the basis for our hobby, illuminating villages. Maybe it’s nice to know where the Christmas lights came into being, once invented to decorate the tree and now inextricably linked to our villages.
The tradition of using small candles to illuminate the Christmas tree goes back to at least the middle of the XVII century. Yet it took two centuries before the tradition was widely spread, probably begun in Germany and
soon afterwards via Eastern Europe worldwide. The candles for in the tree were glued with melted wax to a tree branch or were fastened with pins. It was not until around 1890 that candlesticks were used for the first time, and between 1902 and 1914 small lanterns and glass balls, to hold the candles in, became increasingly popular.
In 1882, the first Christmas tree was lit by the use of electricity. Edward Johnson lit a Christmas tree in the City of New York with 80 small electric light bulbs. Edward Johnson made the first string of electric lights for the Christmas tree that was later massively produced in 1890. Edward Johnson was a protégé of Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb. Christmas lighting was initially available for sale in 1890, but was so expensive that most people could not afford it.
It was a symbol of status among the rich and many of them rented the lighting, instead of buying it. In 1900 a set of 24 Christmas lights cost $ 12.00. Since the average person earned about $ 9 a week, this was far too extravagant for the normal families. In addition to the cost of lighting, the services of an electrician were needed and, if the house was not electrically connected, a generator had to be installed. When the department stores started using the new Christmas lights for their Christmas decoration by 1900, Johnson became vice president of Edison ‘s electrical company.
Albert Sadacca was fifteen in 1917, when he first had an idea to make Christmas lights safer for Christmas trees. A tragic fire that took place in New York by a Christmas tree with candles had inspired him. The Sadacca family sold decor and atmospheric products including atmospheric lighting. Albert adapted some products for safer electric Christmas tree lighting. In the first year only a hundred cables were sold with white lights. Sadacca used bright colored spheres for the second year and became multimillionaire. Later he founded a company with his two brothers Henri and Leon and NOMA became the largest electric company in Christmas lights in the world. (NOMA is also the supplier of the “Dickensville” villages in the United States.) Other companies, including General Electric, invade this industry and Christmas lights in the 1930s became a standard part of Christmas decoration. The imported cardboard “Putz” houses from then also had small openings at the back to put a light on and so the Christmas tree lighting became the forerunner of the lighting for our villages.
In recent years more and more people have been decorating both the outside and the inside of their house with Christmas lights. There are many types of figures made such as a Santa, sleigh or Christmas tree of light cords along trees and fences. In America it is even popular to have that lighting flash on music ….
Extreme Christmas lights