Christmas Lights Time Line

1610 - Tinsel Invented in Germany. Originally made from Silver rolled into wafer thin strips.

1800 - First Christmas tree erected at Queen Lodge (Windsor) for Queen Charlotte,
the wife of George III. It was a Yew tree decorated with sweets, fruit, toys and
illuminated by small candles.

1848 - The Illustrated London News features Price Albert's Christmas tree at Windsor Castle.
This is thought to have been the start of popularisation of the Christmas tree.

1855 - First Record of Christmas Trees in the US.

1870 - Glass ornaments where being imported to decorate Christmas trees. Presumably
these would have been very expensive as they where something of a
status symbol. As a consequence most families could only afford a
tabletop tree.

1877 - Carbon Filament Lamp Invented By Sir Joseph Swan

1878 - Carbon Filament Lamp Demonstrated By Sir Joseph Swan

1879 - Thomas Edison Demonstrates his Carbon Filament Lamp in US

1880 - Swan Demonstrates Electric Lamps are an effective alternative to gas lighting.
Later that year 40 Swan lamps are installed at the home of
Sir William Armstrong at Cragside. The installation was powered by
a Siemens generator.

The increasing availability of Christmas decorations leads to a trend
of larger and larger Christmas Trees. It was now becoming affordable to have
a floor standing Christmas tree, crammed with decorations.

Thomas Edison takes Joseph Swan to Court over alleged patent infringement.
Court decides Edison and Swan coincidentally invented the lamp at the same time.

1881 - Factory set-up to manufacture Swan's electric lamps

1882 - Edward H Johnston (a friend of Edison) installs Christmas Tree light by electric lamps in New York US.

1883 - Edison and Swan join forces to establish Edison & Swan Electric Light Company (later Ediswan).

1900 - Decorations are now widely available leading to a trend in themed trees where the decorations
could be bought as a matching set.

1901 - First Christmas Tree Lights go into Production.

Queen Victoria Dies as does the Christmas tree as a status symbol.

1914 - Swan Died.

[1920 Light Sets]

1930 - The Victorian Christmas becomes resurrected. Large flamboyant trees are back in fashion with many
decorations being made and imported from the British Empire.

[Light Sets]

1940s - War means that Christmas trees become difficult to obtain as cutting down trees for decoration was

1947 - Oslo (Norway) send the first Trafalgar Square Christmas tree as a thank you for Britain's
assistance in the second world war.

The Christmas tree returns to popularity partly thanks to artificial trees manufactured in the US
by addis who had put their toilet brush making machinery to another use.

1950 - FW Woolworth now has a large share of the Christmas decoration market.

[Light Sets]

1960 - Silver, self illuminated artificial trees start to appear. These have a light source in the base
with a revolving colour wheel.

[Light Sets]

1980 - Artificial trees are still popular largely because they make very little mess.

[Light Sets]

1990 - Britain gets nostalgic for the Victorian Christmas with real trees making a comeback.
This is partly due to the introduction of low needle drop trees.

[Light Sets]