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Christmas in April!
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Post# 933776   4/21/2017 at 21:01 by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Thanks to the kindness of SteveD, I have greatly expanded my vintage Christmas lights collection. Can't wait for Christmas!











Post# 933781 , Reply# 1   4/21/2017 at 21:25 by fridgenut (Cape Girardeau, MO)        
Very cool

That is so neat to have something that old that is meant to be used up and thrown out. Are those old cloth cord light sets wired in series? I can't tell.

Post# 933782 , Reply# 2   4/21/2017 at 21:34 by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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No, these a C7 parallel. There is one C6 set, that one is in series. 

Post# 933785 , Reply# 3   4/21/2017 at 21:54 by fridgenut (Cape Girardeau, MO)        

Wow, I've never heard of a C6. I thought the others looked like C7s but I wasn't sure. The fact that they run at such a low voltage is neat!

Post# 933786 , Reply# 4   4/21/2017 at 21:57 by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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C6 were the very first Christmas light sets, early 20th century. They are smaller than C7. C7's came out in the 1930's. C9 came out in the 1920's.

Post# 933804 , Reply# 5   4/22/2017 at 00:16 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

I see a box of Satin Bright bulbs ---always was one of my favorites.  Such an interesting look, loved the colors, they seem richer.  Still have a few that have survived a number of decades.  For a while Martha Stewart had a similar bulb in her Christmas line.

Post# 933808 , Reply# 6   4/22/2017 at 01:21 by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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We had Satin Brights when I was a kid. I also remember they burned hotter than regular ceramics. Looking forward to incorporating them in this years Christmas tree.

Post# 933809 , Reply# 7   4/22/2017 at 01:21 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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When I was a kid, we had one cloth string like those shown, along with the .  It was the easiest one to work with IMO.  I don't know what happened to that string.   I didn't extract it for myself soon enough.

Post# 933810 , Reply# 8   4/22/2017 at 01:26 by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Since my folks got married in 1948, we never had cloth covered sets, at least I never remember seeing them. They were either two tone red/green vinyl covered wires or the newer G.E. all green sets.

Post# 933813 , Reply# 9   4/22/2017 at 01:41 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Mine were married in 1949.   Even as recently as the 1960s new products took some time to reach the west coast.  Maybe the cloth ones were still readily available here in '49.  Or since we only had one string, maybe it was a hand-me-down.

Post# 933855 , Reply# 10   4/22/2017 at 07:59 by appliguy (Oakton Va.)        
WOW Louie!!!!!!

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Thatís really cool, I never knew that christmas lights came in such a wide variety of shapes, types, and have an awesome looking collection...PAT COFFEY

Post# 933919 , Reply# 11   4/22/2017 at 15:56 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        
A nice addition

to your collection, Louie!

I still have a Noma C-7 25 lamp set with the red wooden balls and red & green vinyl cord that my parents bought in the early 50's. We had the carton it came in for many years, but it finally tore apart, so was discarded. We also had a Noma C-6 8 lamp set with red wooden balls and green cord, but a wire came loose from one of the sockets, so it got tossed out. I later bought a Paramount C-6 set around '66 which would have been one of the last made. Still have that one. We had some C-9 sets with cloth covered wires that came from my dad's aunt & uncle. Used them a few years until they got ratty and were thrown out. They had the old style swirled lamps, which I kept.

I'm sure when Christmas rolls around you'll post lots of pics! With all these new lights in addition to what you already have, you'd better have the electrician install an 800 amp service to your place!

Post# 933949 , Reply# 12   4/22/2017 at 19:08 by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Thanks guys!

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Living in a COOP, I'm afraid I have to live with the amps I have available. Almost all the Christmas lights I have for inside use are either vintage C9's, C7's and C6's. Also a few vintage miniature Italian lights.  They are all on dimmers, mostly to extend the life of the vintage bulbs. Outside in the terrace it was all incandescent C9's. But I kept tripping breakers when I'd use the microwave or the dryer. . Last year I switched to incandescent miniatures and LED's. That helped the breaker situation. I plan to go full LED for the terrace this year.


Almost all the new sets above are NOMA C7's. I plan to use almost all, if not all of the sets, again on dimmers for bulb life and reduce taxing the breakers. Anyway, I certainly will continue to add to the collection, can't get enough of vintage Christmas decorations and lights.


So, if anyone has any old Christmas stuff they don't want, just send me a PM, be glad to have them, and above all, they will be cherished.

Post# 939128 , Reply# 13   5/17/2017 at 23:21 by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Well, more like Christmas in May!

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Received 25 C-9 bulbs yesterday. Mostly General Electric and Westinghouse. Late 40's, early 50's, inside paint, brass base. And yes, they all work! 




Post# 939439 , Reply# 14   5/20/2017 at 00:43 by Artcurus (Odessa)        

As a heads up, on the red/green strands, if the wire has turned dark and stiff, they are no longer safe to use.

Repairs on the bakelite sockets (reattaching the loose wires) can be done, but it is an iffy proposition at best.

On the set with the red ring around the base, do not, under any circumstances, leave these on unattended. That red ring keeps the wire on the bottom of the socket, and the connection usually is not very stable after 60 years, and can overheat quickly.

When relamping the mini sets, make sure the bulbs themselves are the same voltage rating.

Though you probably know all this.

That being said, Ultramatic, do you know a source for 1950's pink and canary yellow C7 that doesn't involve remortgaging my house?

Our tree is done in 1950's and these two colors are very expensive to run.

Post# 939601 , Reply# 15   5/21/2017 at 06:10 by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Hi Art, thanks for the heads up. I switched over to vintage lighting a few Christmases ago. Nothing can compare in terms of warmth and quality. These are the first c-7 cloth sets I've ever had and of course I am very much aware of potential hazards.


Vintage pink and canary yellow C-7's and C-9's are rare and expensive. I only have a few of each. It's always best to run vintage lights on a dimmer, the decreased voltage makes them last much longer. Burnt out bulbs can be revived using LED diodes. A delicate process, but worth it as vintage bulbs get rarer every year. Unfortunately inside coated bulbs can not be revived.


I have a friend who not only repairs/restores antique Christmas lighting, he may have some pink and canary yellow bulbs available. Here's his webpage:



Post# 939632 , Reply# 16   5/21/2017 at 08:04 by retro-man (nashua,nh)        

Pink bulbs are still available. Usually I find them in the super markets or in department stores. They are sold in packs of 2 I think. They are used for night lights. They have a soft blue color also. Not the cheapest but still available for those who want them.


Post# 939642 , Reply# 17   5/21/2017 at 08:59 by Artcurus (Odessa)        


I have about 40 sets of 35 Double Flasher that are a nightmare to keep up. I wouldn't trade them for the world. Maybe he could give me some tips.

Post# 939668 , Reply# 18   5/21/2017 at 13:49 by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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You're right Jon! I had forgotten to mention those night light bulbs!

Post# 939670 , Reply# 19   5/21/2017 at 13:51 by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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I'm sure he can help you Art.


You might find this website interesting:


Oh yeah, if you are on Facebook, there are quite a few pages on vintage Christmas lighting I can point you too.

Post# 939754 , Reply# 20   5/22/2017 at 11:10 by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
do you collect vintage candleabras ?

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We have 6 (I think, have to dig out from our move) of the old single C6/C7 (think they came with C6 originally) cardboard tube painted type, probably '30s/40s, have the relief painted fake drips and elaborate oval cream plastic bases, mint cond in the orig green & white boxes (couple boxes missing end tabs). Bought years ago, but now we need to downsize bigly. Would sell for what we paid back then, was around $30. If interested please let me know via eMail.

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