Generations ago, people added small candles to their trees to up the festive factor. But once electricity was widely-available and plentiful, millions of strands of vintage Christmas lights — clear and colored, flashing and solid, indoor and outdoor — became the norm for decorating trees, homes and businesses.
Here’s a look back at some of the most popular kinds of old-fashioned Christmas lights, along with several examples from the ’40s, ’50s & ’60s of this kind of warm and wonderful holiday decor.
Christmas is different… (1956)
Christmas lights, ’50s-style (from 1958)
Christmas lights of the future (1971)
Christmas lights of the future… today from NOMA
Christmas tree lights (1948)
Light is the eternal symbol of Christmas. For after the last Christmas decoration has been taken down and the last string of Christmas tree lamps has been laid away, there is always the Star of Bethlehem to remind us that peace on earth, good will toward men is a crusade whose high purpose knows no season.
So this Christmas time, let us resolve to keep The Spirit of Christmas alive throughout the year… Let each of us make the tiny sparkling lights on his tree a symbol of his dedication to the way of those uncounted millions for whom peace and goodwill have no calendar… whose eyes are ever lifted to the Star… the Star of Hope.
Decorative Lighting Guild of America – A Membership Corporation composed of more than 20 manufacturers of Christmas Lighting
Your holiday decorations can have a new look
Make your home look brighter, more joyful, the easy way! Choose from new GE light sets and bulbs. Whether you pick plain or fancy, pick General Electric… always dependable.
- 15 Merry Bright Light Set — Constant see-thru brilliance!
- 20 Tinsel-Lights — Halos of sparkle!
- 35 Merry Midget Light Set — Pinpoints of Beauty
- Lighted Ice — Like lighted ornaments
- Merry Bright Christmas lights — Light up jewel-bright!
- Twinkle Outdoor — Flashing action!
A Christmas change you’ll love (and so will your neighbors)
- Ask for Lighted Ice bulbs and sets — Sparkle like jewels
- Cooler — 6 wonderful colors — New! 10-light sets
Fancy Bulbs or standard… be sure to get General Electric… always dependable.
1960 Christmas lights
Decorate for night and day with G-E SNOWBALL lamps
By day, they look like white snowballs. (See inset.) At night, they light up in soft, non-glaring color… violet, red, blue, green, yellow and white. Cool in use. Beautiful outdoors and indoors. Try ’em!
Suggestion: For a striking effect, use General Electric SNOWBALL lamps (D40) of just one color on your outdone tece. Then add G-E Lighted Ice, as in photo, to doorway decorations. A G-E floodlight bulb will emphasize your welcome, and bring out the doorway beauty.
For eye-catching action: G-E TWINKLE lamps
These new lamps wink on and off and on again . . . twinkle like stars, in brilliant rich colors. For outdoor strings, ask for General Electric D27 bulbs. For C7-1/2 string sets, ask for the smaller D26 bulbs. (Add them to your indoor tree!)
Suggestion: This tree is made of tin cans! Build wood “tree” frame; then pack with cans which have had both ends cut out. Spray inside of cans white. Then cover front of tree with screen-reinforced transparent plastic and spray it white on inner side. Place D27 of steady burning D15 bulb in each can (just clip socket onto can). Use both types rather than one; it’s more pleasing!
For sparkling loveliness: G-E LIGHTED ICE lamps
Something new has been added! Because the coating of plastic bits on these lamps adds hundreds of facets that provide a marvelous glistening effect. Fit C7% sockets. Cool in use. Striking outdoors or indoors. Look for “GE” on the base or package.
Suggestion: For an unusual table decoration, add General Electric Lighted Ice (D30) to your greens. Branches in this arrangement are held io plastic foam; socket is then clipped onto them. Reflectors behind lamps give extra sparkle.
Noma holiday lights are different, too (1956)
Only NOMA lights give you the widest selection for thrillingly different, modern or traditional Christmas lighting effects, both indoors and out. You can choose with confidence from NOMA’s complete line of lights that gaily twinkle, shine brightly or bubble merrily . . . plus outstanding illuminated novelties for window, roof or lawn!
It’s here and now
It’s a far off land
two thousand years ago
It’s tomorrow and all our yesterdays
Young eyes widen in awe
Older eyes soften and grow misty
with fond remembrance as trees
blossom magically with colored lights
and popcorn strings — with glimmering
snow and shining icicles
Yes, Christmas is different
It’s solemn and bright
It’s full of laughter, full of love
It brings families together from
the far corners of the world
and the four corners of a room
Whether your Christmas sparkles with
excitement or reflects the warm
silence of a shared serenity
this day differs from all others
in a thousand wondrous ways
A thousand thousand ways that
even the oldest and wisest among us
And we don’t try…
We just know it’s Christmas
Glolite Christmas lights (1954)
What a difference GE Christmas lights can make! (1961)
GE Christmas lights (1950)
Here’s for happier holidays in your home – Easier ways to make your home gayer and brighter with G-E Christmas tree lights
Vintage Christmas tree lights (early 1950s)
Adding touches of festive color to a white Christmas (1948 )
Coffee time: When good neighbors gather on the village green to add touches of festive color to a White Christmas. Hot, fragrant coffee contributes to the holiday cheer…and because Maxwell House is America’s favorite — coffee time is Maxwell House time wherever you go. Painted by Joseph Hirsch.
Christmas lights for home (1967)
Twinkle flashing action — Satin-Glo, beautiful night and day — Outdoor bright with beautiful see-through color — Indoor, the industry standard – Bright color, outdoor tough — Sparkling color & action