Christmases Past: Lighting Decoration Patents 1927 – 1938

It is the time of year where we gather around the Christmas tree, exchange presents, spend time with family and friends and make merry. So what better way to be merry than to read about patents?

Frequent readers of IPWatchdog know that we look for any excuse to talk about patents and holidays provide an opportunity to discus thematically relevant patents for interesting innovations. This year we are focusing on Christmas lights.  Some of these patents are for Christmas tree lighting, some are for outdoor decorative lighting and we have one from the era that just caught our eye as we were researching. So sit back and enjoy the wonderful world of patents, Christmas style. And be sure and check out our other Christmas patent articles.

Merry Christmas!


Decorative device
U.S. Patent No. 2,052,425
Issued August 25, 1936

At Christmas time it is common to see candles or candle-simulating devices displayed in the windows of houses, shops, and other buildings.

Such candles and candle devices generally are placed on window sills or the floor of shop display windows. The patent explains that these candle-simulating devices known to exist in the prior art comprise a series of tubular members imitating candle bodies and are surmounted at their tops with light bulbs. The devices are decorative, but their utility is limited by the fact that they must be supported from below, that the tubular members are secured together nonadjustably as a unit and therefore always present the same appearance, and that they are not adapted for use with windows of varying sizes.

Thus, this invention provides a solution to the identified limitations of the prior art. It relates to decorative devices and more particularly to a device adapted to be secured to a window pane or other surface for supporting an illuminating device.


Display device
U.S. Patent No. 1,791,533
Issued February 10, 1931

This invention relates to new and useful improvements in electric display devices, and an object of this invention is to provide a device configured to simulate a Christmas tree and having means for supporting it in an upright position. In turn this display device provides a very attractive decoration, well adapted for use as an interior decoration for homes, store windows, banks, hotel lobbies, theaters, and many other places. This device is also water-proof for exterior decoration when desired.

The patent explains that in order to further enhance the attractiveness of the display, rosettes of various colors may be mounted to the back of the light bulbs. Further, when various colored bulbs are used the patent explains that “unusually brilliant combinations of shades and shadows are produced upon the background.”

Method of Butt Sealing Incandescent Electric Lamps
U.S. Patent No. 2.028,342
Issued January 21, 1936

This Invention relates to electric incandescent lamps and relates more particularly to a device and method of sealing lead wires in the wall of a lamp bulb of the miniature type. In a nutshell this is little light bulb that goes on the string lights and can be used in many areas whether its inside or out.



             Cord Set for Christmas Tree 
             U.S. Patent No. 2,110,353
             Issued March 8,1938


The invention relates generally to the electric-light cord sets, and more particularly to such cord sets made up of miniature sockets and especially intended and adapted for use in providing decorative illumination for Christmas trees.

In the use of such a cord set on a tree, the loop formed by the series of connected wires and sockets is usually placed around the tree and the wires draped over and fastened to the tree branches so as to position the sockets and their associated lights in the most advantageous decorative relationship to the tree.

So, in other words, thanks to these guys and some others we get to endure the headaches that have been popularize in the 12 Pains of Christmas. You know what I’m talking about the “why are they all blinking!” and of course “one goes out and they all go out”.  However even though they can be a pain we have little face that makes those mirages worth it — and the eggnog helps too.


Illuminated Sign 
U.S. Patent No. 2,165,835
Issued July 11, 1936

This invention relates to an improved illuminated sign. In the mid to late thirties , numerous signs were being installed in cities, large and small-and throughout the civilized world-to advertise business. Back in the day this was the patented innovation that allowed the illuminated sign to be seen, despite the angle of display. So why is this here? Well, you know the big JOY TO THE WORLD or PEACE signs we see practically everywhere around this time of year?  This invention is one of the early inventive forefathers of those modern signs. The innovation here allows us to see these bright beautiful and almost blinding signs at any angle.


Crinkled Tinsel Machine
U.S. Patent No. 2,031,566
Issued Febuary 18,1936 

Now during my research I came across this machine. It doesn’t technically have to do anything directly with lighting decorations, but I a thought it was quite interesting. What Christmas tree is complete without at least a little bit of tinsel?

This is a device for producing a particular form of crinkled tinsel of the type which consists of narrow strips of listrous foil commonly used in the decoration of Christmas trees and on other festive occasions. The patent explains that the resulting tinsel is “highly decorative by virtue of its light reflecting qualities.” So it does indirectly relate to lighting — lighting of the reflective kind.


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Join the Discussion

One comment so far.

  • [Avatar for Bryan Bechtol]
    Bryan Bechtol
    December 25, 2012 04:45 pm

    , There is another Christmas light that has been issured not to long ago. Patent number 7540622, in marketing now. You can also check it on youtube “Demo of Reflective Star.”

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