Supporting Amateur Radio Emergency Communications

Christmas Tree LightThe tradition of using small candles to light up Christmas trees dates back to at least the middle of the 17th century.  Candles for the tree were glued with melted wax to a tree branch or attached by pins. Around 1890, candleholders were first used for Christmas candles. Between 1902 and 1914, small lanterns and glass balls to hold the candles started to be used.

QUESTION:

In what year were electric lights first used to light a Christmas tree?

ANSWER:

1882

EXPLANATION:

The first known electrically illuminated Christmas tree was the creation of Edward H. Johnson, an associate of inventor Thomas Edison. While he was vice president of the Edison Electric Light Company, he had Christmas tree light bulbs especially made for him. He proudly displayed his Christmas tree at his home on Fifth Avenue in New York City. It was hand-wired with 80 red, white and blue electric incandescent light bulbs the size of walnuts, on December 22, 1882.  Johnson has become widely regarded as the Father of Electric Christmas Tree Lights.

NET CHECK IN’s:

A total of 36 stations checked into the net tonight and, of those, 5 got the correct year when electric lights were first used on a Christmas tree.  Congratulations to:

  • KD6JEV- John
  • K6MSU – Ron
  • KJ6TCL – Robert
  • AF6TT – Leon
  • AD6UP – Louie

Thanks to all who checked in to the net.  Merry Christmas to everyone.

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