The All-amer­i­can Christ­mas Tree-di­tion

Reader's Digest - - I Am The Food On Your Plate -

Pa­gans and Ro­mans used ever­green trees in win­ter fes­tiv­i­ties long be­fore the birth of Chris­tian­ity, but it took Amer­i­can in­ge­nu­ity to light up the idea and bring it home for the hol­i­days. The Ger­mans lit the ear­li­est Christ­mas trees with can­dles, which had the dual dis­ad­van­tage of be­ing messy (the drip­ping wax) and dan­ger­ous (the flames danc­ing near those pine nee­dles). In 1882, Ed­ward H. John­son, a vice pres­i­dent and in­ven­tor at Thomas Edi­son’s Elec­tric Light Com­pany, hand-wired strings of the com­pany’s new elec­tric bulbs—80 red, white, and blue bulbs in to­tal—and lay­ered them on the tree in his Man­hat­tan home. By 1903, Gen­eral Elec­tric was sell­ing sets of pre­strung Christ­mas lights to the masses for $12. That’s more than $300 in cur­rent dol­lars.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.