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Father of Christmas tree lighting: Edward Hibbard Johnson

Christmas, once a year, is one of the world's most celebrated Catholics. Therefore, many decorations and rituals are used to make Christmas more colorful. Our preparations today are to talk about the history of the Christmas lights which they used to decorate Christmas.

Johnson & Edison

As Christmas approached 1882, Edward Hibbard Johnson joined fellow New Yorkers in decorating the city hall. Nowadays, as the tradition of Christmas decoration runs deeper, Johnson, then 36, embraced the annual custom of decorating the living room with charming Christmas decorations. However, for this particular Christmas, Johnson reinvented the Christmas decoration tradition with the latest invention, the lights.

Nearly three years have passed since Thomas Edison invented the first practical light bulb, and Johnson, a trusted business associate of Thomas Edison, has gradually become an expert in emerging technology. Johnson Edison, 24, was hired in 1871 as an expert in the Automatic Telegraph Company.

Johnson proved to be a bright entrepreneur, and Edison became the best-known employee of the famous inventor. Johnson served as a vice president of the Edison Electric Light Company. Edison was the chief engineer of the electric generator system that was unveiled in Lower Manhattan in September of the same year.

Fire accidents

On Christmas Eve of 1882, Johnson planned to come up with his own idea. For centuries, people used candles to light their Christmas trees. Because these were beautiful Christmas decorations, but a major fire hazard, each year, as Christmas holidays approached, tragic stories of Christmas tree fires and house fires were printed in newspapers.

Johnson's solution was to use candles for Christmas decorations instead of candles. By replacing candles with lamps, Johnson not only reduced the risk of fires but also added extinguishing patterns and different colors.

According to a Detroit Post and Tribune reporter who visited Johnson's home for Christmas, 80 bright red, white, and blue wire cables, "as big as a walnut, were lit on the Christmas tree, with about 28 additional lights by two wires mounted on the ceiling." There were mounted. They designed the tree to rotate slowly.

An electric current got from a generator at Edison's head office activated the lights and tree. “Nobody can think of anything more beautiful than that Christmas tree,” the journalist reported.

To the White House

After electricity spread to Manhattan's Great Palace, the city's leading wealthy used new lights to decorate their Christmas trees. But since the first bulbs did not have a screw socket, wiring each lamp individually was a tedious process. This task required knowledge and time. As a result, members of high society spent about $300 per tree to hire electricians to install lights on their Christmas trees, and the electrician had to call if the bulb burned or broke.

The White House Christmas Tree was decorated for the first time in 1894 under the direction of President Grover Cleveland. Due to the limitation of electricity and the cost and exhaustion of Christmas lights, candles still remain the primary means of illuminating Christmas trees. 

This began to change in the early 20th century when General Electric began manufacturing and selling Christmas lights. There was no need for the services of an electrician to draw the lines. Popular magazines, such as Saturday Evening Magazines and Harper's Bazaar, emphasized the safety benefits of lights.

In 1903, General Electric began designing the "Christmas Festoon" with eight lamps, with a front wired porcelain socket, small glass bulbs, and screw plugs attached to a wall or ceiling light socket. Since most people could not afford a Festoon kit for $ 12, some towns offered to rent lights for $ 1.50.

By the 1940s, when electricity was commonplace in rural America, many Christmas trees were replaced with candles. Johnson, who was called the "father of electric Christmas decorations," has the credit of starting it all.

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