Zionsville Times Sentinel

November 21, 2012

Christmas lights for eyes only; keep teeth away

By Amy Rodriguez/Times Sentinel columnist
Zionsville Times Sentinel

— I realize it is the day before Thanksgiving, but the time has come to discuss Christmas lights.

Friday is the day a lot of families put up their Christmas trees. I have always waited until the first weekend in December but do understand the desire to get the tree up while everyone is at home. At my house, the most important part of tree trimming is the lights.

Christmas lights were invented in the Christmas season of 1880 by Thomas Edison. He is reported to have hung them around his Menlo Park laboratory, according to the Library of Congress website. Christmas lights didn’t become commercially available until 1903, when General Electric introduced Christmas tree light kits. These kits were a little pricey, though. According to the LOC website, it would have cost about $2,000 in modern dollars to light an average-sized tree.

Then in 1917, a teenager named Albert Sadacca got a bright idea. His parents owned a novelty lighting company and he convinced them sell strings of lights to the public.

See Wednesday's paper for the full story.