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  • The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
  • The Christmas wreath was originally hung as a symbol of Jesus. The holly represents his crown of thorns and the red berries the blood he shed.
  • The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  • Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
  • The oldest artificial Christmas trees date back to the late 1800s and were made of green raffia (think grass hula skirts) or dyed goose feathers. Next the Addis Brush Company used their machinery that wove toilet brushes to create pine-like branches for artificial Christmas trees that were less flammable and could hold heavier decorations.
  • ‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song was composed by James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however, written for thanksgiving and not Christmas.
  • Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
  • Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.
Mel Fischer

A Seldom Seen One

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Looks like they used the same mold for the pail and the light?  Is the stem on top a light holder like another pumpkin you recently showed?  I like this little guy, been looking at the pails on eBay.

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Elaine, yes, they must have used the same mold for the "Big Jack" pumpkins and the pails.  You are also right that the stem on trop is the battery/bulb holder, this one is battery lighted similar to the Tico Toys ones, but the metal part is one piece, not two like the Tico Toys.

 

For those who might be interested, GenFoam made Big Jack in different variations for at least 11 years.  They made the pail with at least four handle variations and two paint variations, possibly a third paint variation.  They made the Big Jack lighted pumpkin with cord in two color variations and the battery lighted one.  They also made him as a lamp shade.  I do think that the few lighted Big Jacks that are seen on eBay with the light cord coming in the top might have originally been battery lighted ones that previous owners changed over to the cord and the battery lighting setup was discarded.  Most of the corded ones I have seen with the original cords have the light in the back.

 

Mel

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What are the "lugs" on his head for?  Looks like they held a handle?

 

Jim these could have possibly had a handle originally but being so rarely seen, I can not confirm that.  If I can eventually confirm that it did have the handle and see which handle it had, I will take a handle off one of the matching pails for it.

 

Mel

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Yeah I have most of the variations..except the one you have pictured...its hard to find those intact with battery holders..usually lost or discarded..

 

What I've noticed is the early versions had a nice clean paint job...the later versions had a more sloppy paint job where I have ones where the leaves on top weren't painted all all..I have noticed the marking intact on all the molds for the various locations depending on version..i.e handle location...hole in back for light, hole in top, handles on side..seems weird that the notches would be intact as I've seen the premarked holes for those on other molds but the notches not there when they aren't being used...so my guess would be a handle did come with it.

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Jim these could have possibly had a handle originally but being so rarely seen, I can not confirm that.  If I can eventually confirm that it did have the handle and see which handle it had, I will take a handle off one of the matching pails for it.

 

Mel

Just going back through some of my Big Jack's thought I'd take a picture of one with the notches and the style handle that goes with it...General foam used those notches on several of their very early 70's pail versions...its a thinner style plastic (almost vinyl stretchy feel) handle that is very flexible and sometimes pretty shiny..simply had a two holes and stretched over the notches..they added a little fancy decoration on the ends...  You are right on the battery comment...all of the original Big Jacks I've seen with electrical cords were installed on back...and the top was completely closed...so the ones with the cord on top had to be converted battery ones...otherwise that hole wouldn't even be there unless you cut it out yourself.

 

Finding a replacement handle for this style is very difficult...they don't make them anymore and you can't really find a replacement unless you rob one from another general foam pail...I've tried to source this material but haven't had any luck...like I said its almost a cross between a very thin plastic and a vinyl feel because its very flexible and does stretch...I contacted general foam and they do sell their current plastic handles with those notches that snap into the holes on their existing pails...but that is the only one they sell since that is what they are currently using and have for many years now..in fact they used this style for Big Jack...it was the last version they used until they stopped making Big Jack sometime in the early 80's.

 

DSC01600_zpsfb1a2f3c.jpgDSC01599_zps7f8ad350.jpg

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This is interesing did they use the same mold for both?  Do they cut the hole out for the candy pail after it is molded or do they mold that way?

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Based on all the Big Jacks I have in my collection I'd say they probably molded the Big Jack with the top intact and then based on whether or not it was going to be a pail or light they removed the top...

 

The reason you can tell is the slight shavings and left over cut lines you see sometimes...if they molded it like that I'd think you would have nice smooth edges..but if you look close that isn't the case..usually some indication that it was cut out after it was molded...also there is some engravings on the top that are always still visible even in candy pails..which tells you that the entire engraving was put on the complete mold and then some partially removed when they cut the center out for the candy pail style..hence you know they made the mold as complete with the top.....you also can see the slight dimples at the various locations where holes were marked for possible cut outs based on what style of pail or light it was going to be...case in point...on each side of the pail when its a light you can still see the dimples where the holes could have been drilled out for the handle had it been a candy pail...also on some of the candy pails you can see a slight dimple in back which marks spot where the would have drilled out the hole for the light cord..so to me  think they have a basic mold...then tooling items to make it whatever style they want...this seem to be the case with a lot of molds you have various versions to compare to each other....

 

I also imagine that if something was run many times over several years your going to have variations in the tool markings as they might change things if they know for instance that they were no running any more candy pails but just the light..then you might not see any marks towards the ends of runs...just depends on how long the items were produced and how many runs...I imagine cost saving was first and foremost so probably cheapest to run one way and then alter the item after its done..

Edited by Roadrunner000

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Last week I received a Big Jack pail that should confirm that they cut out the top after they were made.  The candy pail still has the cut out piece in it, that is why I bought it.  I am assuming that they forgot to take the piece out after cutting and before shipping the pail.  I will take a picture of both the pail and the cut out piece soon.

 

Mel

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Last week I received a Big Jack pail that should confirm that they cut out the top after they were made.  The candy pail still has the cut out piece in it, that is why I bought it.  I am assuming that they forgot to take the piece out after cutting and before shipping the pail.  I will take a picture of both the pail and the cut out piece soon.

 

Mel

I recall that auction Mel....funny I was thinking I wonder if Mel was the one who purchased that pail...it was interesting that the top was still intact even though it was cut out...

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Yeah it seems that one was just shipped with the cutout still intact...because there is no reason they would leave the cutout intact like that...Mel how wide is that cutout..just wondered what the size of the opening was....wanted to compare the opening to mine to see if its consistent with the other candy pails ...

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Here are the pictures of the "Big Jack" pail and the cut out piece.

 

That one must not have been out in the Sun.  It looks to be in mint condition!

 

TED

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