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First Christmas Tree Lit By Electric Lights Displayed (1882)

First Christmas Tree Lit By Electric Lights Displayed (1882)

It all started with one man’s dream. In 1882, Edward Hibberd Johnson, an associate of Thomas Edison, came up with the idea of lighting a Christmas tree with electric lights. Edison himself was sceptical at first, but he eventually gave Johnson the go-ahead to create a prototype. Hibberd reached out to his friend, Lewis Latimer, who worked for Edison and was an expert in electrical wiring. Together, they created a string of 80 red, white, and blue electric lights. On December 22nd, 1882, they displayed their work of art in Johnson’s New York City home. The event was a huge success, and soon electric Christmas lights were being sold commercially, eventually sparking a new tradition.

Today over 140 years later, millions of people around the world take part in decorating their homes with electric lights, bringing a little bit of light into the darkest time of the year. Lighten up this Christmas with these activities!

Activity Ideas:

  • Have a go at our Christmas in a Jar activity – here
  • Create your Christmas Tree Treats – here
  • Why just Trees, Light up your very own snowman – here