Christmas Memories, All Lit Up
As sort of a point/counterpoint to yesterdays yuletide creepiness…I have a story to tell you about my Dad. He is the finest man I have ever known. No “perhaps” or “one of the” or “quite possibly”…but simply flat out the best. He has been retired now for 25 years from Sylvania, where he was an industrial engineer, involved with their light bulb division. He was in the production and inventory control department, and used computers all his life, starting in the 1950’s, with hulking IBM mainframes, FORTRAN, and stacks of punch-cards.
And before I go any further, I must give credit where credit is due. The 2 images are from this website H*E*R*E*. As far as I’m concerned, what this guy has done is what the internet was meant to be. True, not everyone is interested in the history of Christmas lighting and decorations, but if you are, he has done a phenomenal job. I highly recommend you check this out…heck, you might even have some old lights in a box somewhere you got from your grandparents…and maybe you’ll be inspired to dig them out and see what you’ve got…and if they still work!
Anyhow, this advertisement from 1945 fascinated me, for a number of reasons, obviously…not the least of which is the interest in fluorescent light today as an alternative to incandescent. Turns out, these weren’t a hit…apparently the color was too subtle or diffuse for many people…they wanted their trees to shine! But I pulled this image up on the computer a few years ago, and asked Dad if he’d seen anything like these…he started with Sylvania around 1950.
He went and fetched a shoebox, dug around inside, and come up with 2 of these bulbs! Wonder if they still work? We went over to his workbench and his light-bulb tester…these wouldn’t fit, the sockets were wrong. No problem…he fished around in another box, and come up with a converter…and wouldn’t you know, the bulbs lit up like a champ, some 60 years later!
It may not mean much to you, but to me…having a Dad who has Christmas lights older than I am…is something special, what can I say?
Comic books stuffed in your stocking…nothing better on a snowy Xmas morn, sez me…can’t wait to get back from church to read them!
shameless plugs, blinking on and off to beat the band…
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