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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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MattKat

Large Commercial Lanterns

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Picked several of these large lantern scroll assemblies up at an auction a few weeks ago and I'm pretty excited to work on restoring them!  The red panes on a couple of them are cracked so I've got to figure out some sort of replacement material since I'm sure any "proper" parts would be either expensive or just unavailable altogether.  The garland will also get spruced up and new lights will be installed and hopefully bring these to even better condition than they were originally.

 

I also picked up a couple cases of replacement GP berries and ornaments while I was there as well, so hopefully those can be used in the restoration too.

 

I just love these commercial decorations!

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Picked several of these large lantern scroll assemblies up at an auction a few weeks ago and I'm pretty excited to work on restoring them!  The red panes on a couple of them are cracked so I've got to figure out some sort of replacement material since I'm sure any "proper" parts would be either expensive or just unavailable altogether.  The garland will also get spruced up and new lights will be installed and hopefully bring these to even better condition than they were originally.

 

I also picked up a couple cases of replacement GP berries and ornaments while I was there as well, so hopefully those can be used in the restoration too.

 

I just love these commercial decorations!

 

Congrats!!!!  I'm green with envy! LOL!  I have always loved that style/model of Lantern. I believe those style lanterns were made by a company called Harris Hill.  This company went out of business a long time ago.

 

Allen :)

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Oh was it really?  I had thought these were another variation from GP.  I had never heard about Harris Hill until just now!

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Hey Matt,

 

Congrats on saving a few pieces of history.  I agree with Allen, I don't think that style was GP.  

They will sure look great when you get them up!!  Was it a municipal auction ?

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Oh was it really?  I had thought these were another variation from GP.  I had never heard about Harris Hill until just now!

 

I got the name wrong. LOL!  Those 30" Lanterns were made by Harrill Company.

 

Sorry about that.

 

Allen  :)

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Ahh, gotcha!  And it was actually a drive-through display that ran for a quarter decade until they finally called it quits this past Christmas.  They sold off the entire display last month and I was lucky enough to be able to attend the sale.

 

I was considering painting the spiral trim gold this summer while restoring the set to enhance them but I'm not sure how that would look... Any thoughts?

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Ahh, gotcha!  And it was actually a drive-through display that ran for a quarter decade until they finally called it quits this past Christmas.  They sold off the entire display last month and I was lucky enough to be able to attend the sale.

 

I was considering painting the spiral trim gold this summer while restoring the set to enhance them but I'm not sure how that would look... Any thoughts?

 

During the daytime it would add a nice touch to the lanterns, but I'm not sure how they would look at night.  The gold paint could look like black stripes, when turned on after dark.  Harrill Company made these lanterns in Red, Green, Yellow and White colors with Red, Green or Amber (Orange) panes. 

 

Allen :)

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I agree with Allen on that.  The gold would look nice during the day.  At night I think it could give the effect of an older Victorian Style Gas Lamp - not a bad look at all.  Maybe try one first just to see how YOU like it.    Don't forget to post pics of your work :)  We all like to see pics :)

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These were actually made by a company called Vaughn's manufacturing out of Minnesota. The Howard-Harrill Co was a distributor / dealer for Howard-harrill.

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These were actually made by a company called Vaughn's manufacturing out of Minnesota. The Howard-Harrill Co was a distributor / dealer for Howard-harrill.

 

Wow! I did not know this. Thanks for the information, Ken.  By the way, would you have any catalog pictures of these?  I would love to get scans of those.

 

Thanks, Allen :)

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Very nice! I didn't know they made a yellow version...

 

Hey Sam, 

 

The town of Parsons Tennessee had Vaughn's Manufacturing Red, Green, White, and Yellow Lanterns with Amber panes.  They destroyed them and bought new Christmas Decorations, a few years ago.  :(   Back in the 1970's, I few in love with those lanterns as a kid.  I can tell you without a doubt that Parsons did have yellow ones with amber panes.  This town is located where my Grandparents lived, so I saw these lanterns all my life.

 

Allen :)

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WOW   that brings back a ton of childhood memories.    what a great find  congrats.  where do you plan to put these in your display?

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I had originally planned to erect posts to mount them to in the lawn to go with the rest of my classic/vintage commercial-themed display, but they may trade spots with the giant GP ornaments I also recently purchased and will hang from the corners of my house since they're a bit shorter than the ornaments and won't hit peoples' heads (as much) as they walk by.  I love them!

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