The Roundup: Electric Christmas tree lights unveiling anniversary news

Electric Christmas tree lights were first turned on in 1882.

Oh Christmas tree

Electric Christmas tree lights were first switched on, on this day in 1882. Edward H. Johnson, a business associate of Thomas Edison, put together the string of light bulbs and decorated his tree ready for festivities. It was only three years after Edison had invented a practical way to manufacture such bulbs that they were already in use for what some would call trivial purposes.

Mr Johnson decorated his tree at home with the electric lights, and it was visible through his living room windows. Perhaps it wasn’t as eye catching as you might think, though, as there was already an established tradition of putting lights on Christmas trees – using the very much older tech of wax candles. Early incandescent electric bulb-powered Christmas tree lights might sound like a fire risk nowadays, where safer and often battery-powered LEDs have taken over, but they were still preferable to candles with their naked flames responsible for many house fires over the season.

Nowadays, modern gaming PC owners don’t need to invest in a Christmas tree as they can simply toggle on the Christmas present via their RGB controllers, set up a festive desktop wallpaper, and enjoy sherry and mince pies from the comfort of their den.

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