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The World’s First Christmas Tree with Electric Lights

Once upon a time, Christmas trees were illuminated by burning candles. You can imagine how difficult it was to get candles to stand up on a tree branch, and how much supervision was necessary keep the house from burning down. So it was a real Christmas miracle when electric Christmas lights were introduced. The first Christmas tree with electric light bulbs was displayed in 1882 by Edward Hibberd Johnson in New York City. His tree caused such a sensation that the New York Times wrote about it.   

“The tree was lighted by electricity and children never beheld a brighter tree or one more highly colored than the children of Mr. Johnson when the current was turned and the tree began to revolve.

“It stood about six feet high, in an upper room, and dazzled persons entering the room. There were 120 lights on the tree, with globes of different colors, while the light tinsel work and unusual adornment of Christmas trees appeared to their best advantage in illuminating the tree.

“The set of lights were turned off and on at regular intervals as the tree turned around.  The first combination was of pure white light then as the revolving tree tree severed the connection of the current that supplied it and made connection with the second set, red and white lights appeared. Then came yellow and white and other colors.”

That may seem overly elaborate to you and me. After all, the electric lights alone would warrant a newspaper article. But it wasn’t just a family Christmas tree; it was a promotion. Johnson was a vice-president at the Edison Electric Company. They subsequently sold Christmas lights for a price that was equivalent to a week’s wages, but in 1882, the electric Christmas tree was to promote the idea of electric light bulbs as a concept that would spread far and wide. Read about those early electric Christmas tree lights at The Bowery Boys. Or listen to the podcast if you prefer. -via Strange Company


Overture of Overtures

You might not recognize all of the themes in this overture, hey, you might not recognize any of them (though you should), but you certainly know the fanfare style of the tune that opens the show. This medley was conducted and arranged by Alan Williams and performed by musicians from London's West End. -Thanks, Tim Spellman!


The Game of Thrones Ice Hotel

Every year, the SnowVillage in northern Finland is reconstituted with a new theme. This year, winter is not only coming, but has arrived. The village is now styled after scenes and characters from the Game of Thrones television series. You can sleep peacefully at night as the Night King watches over you, or just visit the hotel to take a tour or dine at the restaurant.

You can see more photos of this wondrous facility at its Instagram page.

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