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 to 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 and 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 coloured 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 colours, 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 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 colours.”
It wasn’t just a family Christmas tree; it was a promotion. Johnson was a vice-president at the Edison Electric Company. It 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. (Via Neatorama)
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Atlanta police say someone’s gun accidentally went off inside a Neiman Marcus department store causing mall customers to run and hide for cover.
“Witnesses initially indicated there may have been a dispute occurring between two individuals when they heard a shot fired. However, officers say there was no dispute …Instead, a male was walking through the store and adjusting his pants when the firearm he had in his waistband discharged. It appears the shot was accidental and no one was injured by the bullet,” police said in a news release.
Kindness of strangers
A reader writes: “I was bashed up and rushed to Middlemore the other night. The next day I was allowed home but explained to my nurse I had no money to get home. A man looking after his son in the next bed overheard and insisted on giving me $100 to get home. He would not listen when I kept refusing his offer. God bless you stranger, and your family. I will never forget what you did. I will be paying it forward.”
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