Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Who Invented Electric Christmas Tree lights?

Every Month Historifly will share some of the greatest, most unique and important days in American history. We hope you enjoy, learn and listen to history's "Mystic Chords of Memory."

Thomas Edison (1880)
Menlo Park, New Jersey
During the Christmas season of 1880, light strands were strung around the outside of the Menlo Park, New Jersey Laboratory. Railroad passengers traveling by the laboratory got their first look at an electrical light display. 

Edward H. Johnson (1882)
Edward H. Johnson put the very first string of electric Christmas tree lights together in 1882
Edward Johnson, Edison’s friend and partner in the Edison’s Illumination Company, hand-wired 80 red, white and blue light bulbs and wound them around his Christmas tree

President Cleveland (1895)
White House Family Christmas Tree
In 1895, President Cleveland requested that the White House family Christmas tree be illuminated by hundreds of multi-colored electric light bulbs.

President Calvin Coolidge (1923)
National Christmas Tree
On Christmas Eve 1923, President Calvin Coolidge began the country’s celebration of Christmas by lighting the National Christmas Tree with 3,000 electric lights.

Albert Sadacca and NOMA Electric Co. (1920's)
The Sadacca family owned a novelty lighting company and in 1917. Albert, a teenager at the time, suggested that its store offer brightly colored strands of Christmas lights to the public. By the 1920’s Albert and his brothers organized the National Outfit Manufacturers Association (NOMA), a trade association. NOMA soon became NOMA Electric Co., with its members cornering the Christmas light market until the 1960’s.

All of this history and more can be found in the Library of Congress.  The Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress.

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