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Old 5th Dec 2011, 9:50 pm   #141
Tazman1966
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

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I bought some for one of my sets and they are very good indeed - well certainly from the seller that I used.
And here are some pictures of the aforementioned lights up in our kitchen. I've taken some of them switched off so you can see them clearly. The yellow is a bit too "lemony" when switched off compared to the originals but when illuminated, it's just right

(The final picture is a bit OT as not vintage lights but our vintage Christmas telly this year is the baby Decca CS1730 displaying analogue BBC2 for the final year - analogue switch off for us is April 2012.)
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Old 5th Dec 2011, 11:37 pm   #142
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

Hello all, I've had a 12 lamp set of 50's or 60's lights for the last 12 months and only just ordered new lamps through ebay. I think they are quite nice, SWMBO says "they look like they should be outdoor lights"

(Nice lights Tas, how long you had them?)

Cheers
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Old 5th Dec 2011, 11:55 pm   #143
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

Hiya Lee

I've had them since the spring and have been itching to put them up all this time! I have another set which was made up from "bitsa" and has ended up with 14 rather than 12 lamps and is on permanent display (but not switched on all the time of course!) in my workshop on the edge of the uppermost shelf.

I did try to put the 12 lamp set on a very small tree but the tree was just too small
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Old 6th Dec 2011, 8:50 pm   #144
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

Nice pictures Taz and thanks for pointing me to that ebay shop. I have just put an order in for some more spares for my minature set of 12. I think I put a picture of these lights in operation last year.
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Old 7th Dec 2011, 10:29 am   #145
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

Here is a set of mine using the 20volt MES olive Mazda/Pifco lamps that I rewired last year. It is quite easy to push the lampholder out of the shroud to solder new wires on. Originally it was a 12 lamp set, but I added another four to prolong the life of the lamps. I seem to be coming across an increasing number of old light sets these days.
Neil
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 11:46 am   #146
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

What lovely pictures, Neil, I love the Priory lamp. I also have a set onto which I have grafted four more holders and I haven't had a bulb blow for years.

Paul
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 12:37 pm   #147
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I love the Priory lamp.
Yes, I am rather proud of that lamp. It is a seventies repro of the original arts and crafts priory lamps. Originally it had a rather crude plywood lantern with printed glass panels, I replaced it with a more fitting brass and leaded glass hand crafted lantern that looks much better.
Neil
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Old 9th Dec 2011, 4:41 pm   #148
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I needed to go into the loft today to replace the kitchen down lights that were becoming tatty. Needless to say I spent most of the time opening boxes of long forgotten junk and discovered this dinkie set of vintage Christmas tree lights and immediately thought of this Forum. The illustrations on the box are a delight in their own right. I guess they date from around 1952. I also discovered some spare lamps for this set and the miniature 35 screw set.
I plugged them in and it was only necessary to tighten the lamps to produce results. I used to get strings of tangled lights brought in for 'repair' around this time of year. How things have changed, you just throw them away today as they are such rubbish and so cheap that replacing the lamps would be daft. [If you could buy them] Happy Christmas everyone. John.
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Old 9th Dec 2011, 5:08 pm   #149
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

Are the lamps in the osram set the originals ?
They appear to be solid coloured lamps like many others, whereas Osram used to sell TRANSPARENT coloured lamps. I considered these to be superior in appearance, they looked as though made of coloured glass, but were in fact lacquered.
I think that I still have some !

Are 20 volt 3 watt Christmas lamps still manufactured ? they are widely sold on ebay but I dont know if this is old stock being used up, or if they are still made.
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Old 9th Dec 2011, 5:50 pm   #150
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

lovely lights John , I hope you are going to put them up somewhere , I have several similar sets, all of which will get an outing this christmas ( when the tree is finished , I will put up a photo) Ps I think I have the same box in the loft - yes I have Found it ! - brings back memorys - fairy at the end of a rainbow and lots of little elves , shame no cats though
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Old 9th Dec 2011, 6:13 pm   #151
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Hello ?,
The lamps will not be original. The 20v lamps had a long life but the 'modern' replacements are nasty. Woolworths used to sell a string of 12 light holders and flex minus the lamps. You could choose your lamps from a very large selection that included babies, lanterns, stars, father Christmas, reindeer and so on. They appeared to be hand painted. Had a number of them for over fifty years but alas a lot of junk was dumped when I moved nine years ago. The later 20v sets did indeed use clear lamps. I have a pre war set somewhere with cloth mains lead. Somewhere..John.
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Old 9th Dec 2011, 9:12 pm   #152
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Woolworths used to sell a string of 12 light holders and flex minus the lamps. You could choose your lamps from a very large selection that included babies, lanterns, stars, father Christmas, reindeer and so on.
What a lovely idea John. I didn't know that Woolies' 'pick'n'mix' extended beyond the sweet counter!

Our set of 12 Pifco Elfinlites (vintage 1962 and due to be brought down from the loft this weekend for festive duties) acquired a few replacement bulbs in the late 70s including a couple of oddball ones: These were the classic cone shape but covered in coarse frosting, as though they had been dipped in the sugar bowl. Quite unusual.

If you ever visit a 'proper' small hardware shop, it's always worth asking if, by any chance, they still have any replacement bulbs for sets of 12 lights. Last year I found a shop near me with almost a full card with about 15 packets of 3 replacement lamps. I was offered the whole lot at a discounted price, as no one else was buying them.

With most new lamp sets being full of LEDs (I hate those white ones that look almost grey), the bulb replacement market must be about dead.

I'm preaching to the converted here, but as the previous photos show, an old set of 12 vintage lights still manages to look far more Christmassy than 200 flashing LEDs.

Steve J
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Old 9th Dec 2011, 11:13 pm   #153
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I completely agree Steve but alas it is an age thing and we tend to hanker after things we enjoyed as kids. Today's generation may well have the same feeling about the 200 light sets when the latest lights in 30 years may well be powered from moonglow... [Those old lights DO look good..] I'm sure I had a pussy cat lamp Peter. Will have to turn out a few more boxes. John.
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Old 9th Dec 2011, 11:19 pm   #154
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

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....I discovered this dinkie set of vintage Christmas tree lights and immediately thought of this Forum. The illustrations on the box are a delight in their own right. I guess they date from around 1952. I also discovered some spare lamps for this set and the miniature 35 screw set...
Even nicer than the set I found for you. The 12 lamp set would look great on your vintage tree. Go on, you know you want to
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Old 10th Dec 2011, 1:47 am   #155
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

The green lamp 2nd right and yellow one 6th right in that Osram set look like originals. They have a "crisp" pointed shape that the grotty "empire made" bulbs didn't match.
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Old 10th Dec 2011, 11:22 am   #156
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Wow! Such knowledge! Do they do an Open University course on Christmas lights? I've always wanted an 'ology'. Maybe I could then get a proper job.

Ha! Chris, you could well be right. I must find that box of lamps and holder strings. I may not have the time before Christmas but you never know. All the best, John.
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Old 10th Dec 2011, 5:29 pm   #157
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I wish.....

No, my parents had a set with 12 coloured "olive" shaped bulbs when I was a lad and I remembered the difference in exact shape between the original bulbs and the various replacements it acquired over the years. It ended up (courtesy of a rather young and inquisitive budding engineer) as a 14 lamp set, after which the bulbs seemed to last for ever .

It's possible my sister may still have the set somewhere, I must remember to ask.
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Old 11th Dec 2011, 11:31 pm   #158
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I completely agree Steve but alas it is an age thing and we tend to hanker after things we enjoyed as kids.
Quite right John,

I for one love the 20 light sets which have the coloured petals on white lamp holders with green twisted flex, they use the 12v 1.1w LES lamps.
I have about six sets!

Very happy childhood memories.

Cheers
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Old 12th Dec 2011, 12:59 am   #159
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

We put our tree up this afternoon and adorned it with a set of old set of 50's classic cones that I bought earlier in the year and replaced those bulbs that were dead.
My wife and daughter were impressed but on a 6 foot tree they did appear a wee bit lost so of course we supplimented these with some 'modern' Christmas lights.
I really wanted a 'classic' look so I managed to get hold of yet another set of 50's cones. I just hope that they will arrive before Christmas.

Whats has amazed me is with all of the latest flashing led gizmo lights etc. the older lights do appear to be so much better to look at (perhaps its the childhood memories?).

Rob
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Old 14th Dec 2011, 10:20 am   #160
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The picture of Neil's excellent Christmas tree complete with Bush TV22 was the final straw. Here is my effort for 2011. A more subdued tree that is now just short of 40 years old. It could be 1951 but the lights really should be from the box I showed earlier, or the period set that matches the tree presented to me by TAS. Before you all shout, of course we didn't have plastic trees back then.
Oh by the way Neil, Take care when adjusting the brightness on your TV22. That old electric fire may catch you trousers alight if your not careful.
All the best for the season, John.
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