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Inventor Of Christmas Lights

Author : Joe Willmeth

Submitted : 2010-03-01 12:39:21    Word Count : 615    Popularity:   52

Tags:   Lights, Bulbs, Christmas Lights

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With all of the new Christmas Tree Lights and Outdoor Christmas Decorations being developed today, this true to life recollection of the first Indoor Christmas Light set made in the United States by Ralph E. Morris, is a refreshing Christmas History lesson. Having Googled who invented the first Electric Indoor Christmas Tree Lights, Dale Morris saw that there were a lot of inconsistencies on many of the web sites. Dale telephoned us at Christmas Decorations and Gifts, and promptly faxed us this delightful story about his Grandfather. Enjoy!

This “Real” recollection of how the USA Electric Indoor Christmas Lights was invented is told by Dale Morris. I was told this story firsthand by the inventor, my Grandfather, Ralph E. Morris of Laconia, New Hampshire in the year of 1911. It was the Christmas of 1910 and my father was only about 3 years old and at that time there were only candles on the Christmas trees to light them. Now, as youngsters are not the most careful of individuals, my father had lost a small toy under the Christmas tree while he was playing. As a young child, he reached under the tree to retrieve the toy as the candles were burning on the tree. He accidentally burned the hair on his head and almost set the tree on fire. Fortunately, the tree did not catch fire. It was then that my Grandfather decided there would never be another candle on the Christmas tree another year.

At the time Mr. Morris was employed by the New England Telephone Company which used small light bulbs with wooden bases in the switchboards. He was able to purchase a number of them and the following year (1911) in September, he began soldering them together about a foot apart in long strings. After he had completed the strings, he fastened pieces of different colored crepe papers (red, green, yellow, and blue) around this small wooden ball he had to make the shape of a globe which was then put around each of the light bulbs and fastened them on with a rubber band. He made enough of the lights to trim the tree with as well as go around the walls of the double parlor so that it made quite the display of lights. He had kept what he was doing quite a secret to the rest of the family which had been forbidden to go into the parlors as what he was doing was to be a big surprise.

When Christmas Eve arrived, Ralph gathered the family by the door to the parlor where on a table he had wired a switch that was to be thrown at his command. The lights were lowered in the rest of the house and at his word, Aunt May threw the switch that turned on all the first Christmas lights in the United States. Everyone was in awe at the sight of the lights, and that was the beginning of the Electric Indoor Christmas Light as we know them today.

There may have been other Electric Indoor Christmas Light inventors. I have heard somewhere in Germany earlier, but Grandpa Morris had never heard of them so this was his invention here in America. My father, Leavitt F. Morris who was Travel Editor of the Christian Science Monitor of Boston had also written the story many years ago for the Monitor, but I am sure many have forgotten and of course, many are too young to remember.

Now, you know the “real” story of the invention of the Electric Indoor Christmas Lights.
Thank you!

Dale Morris

Grandson of Ralph E. Morris

Author's Resource Box

Joe has specialized in Christmas Decorations for over 25 years. http://www.christmas-decorations-gifts-store.com. Joe also has a great selection of Indoor Christmas Lights for you to compare at http://www.christmas-decorations-gifts-store.com/store/PPF/Category_ID/72/products.asp.

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