Everyone knows that Thomas Edison was the inventor of the light bulb, but few know that he had a wicked sense of humor- which he used in his outrageous publicity stunts. Fortunately for us during the Christmas of 1880, he was sentimental and instead of electrocuting the Christmas turkey, he brought us the first electric Christmas light display.
By the year 1880, Edison had his incandescent light bulbs mastered and looking for a way to advertise them. In order to display his invention as a means of bringing Yuletide cheer, he hung incandescent bulbs all around his Menlo Park laboratory, in order for the nearby railway commuters to see the Christmas miracle. Most probably the fear of competition, but Edison being quite crafty, he made the challenge a little more complicated by powering the lights from a remote generator eight miles away.
Two short years later, an Edison colleague by the name of Edward Johnson displayed the first electrically illuminated Christmas tree in his Manhattan home. The extraordinary 80-light display surrounded a very insignificant Charlie Brown Christmas tree, all while being intended as an advertising tool.
The tradition of stringing electric lights may have started as a Christmas thing in America, but now it's a global phenomenon used for all kinds winter festivities. It's a practice we often take for granted, but one thing is for certain: They're a much better option than sticking a candle in a tree.
Speaking of trees and parks, why not share a little of our own Covington, GA Christmas lighting phenomenon with the family this year by attending Twilights in Chimney Park? For a mere $5 admission fee (Children under 2 are FREE), you can meander through sparkling woodlands on December 6th from 5- 7:30pm and enjoy all the entertainment, refreshments and holiday cheer your spirit can handle.
For more information, log on to the Chimney Park website at www.chimney-park.com.