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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.

thelope.com

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About thelope.com

  • Rank
    New Member
  • Birthday 10/15/1961

Profile Information

  • Location
    Kansas
  • Biography
    Holiday enthusiast from Kansas, into old store window display and unusual blow molds
  • Interests
    trains, prog rock, paleontology, toy dinosaurs, entomology, Halloween, Christmas
  • Occupation
    photographer
  • About my display
    In past years I've displayed five Sinclair inflatable dinosaurs pulling a sleigh with the Empire motorized Santa, and a fiberglass brontosaurus with the Empire (I think) Santa train. The last few years I haven't had much of an outdoor display due to traveling so much in December. Next year I plan to be home more, so I am gearing up.

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  1. What a delight to run across this thread! I have some Hamberger penguins (some motorized, some stationary) and the stationary ones smell really bad - very much like burning rubber. When I got them (used) in the late 1980s I phoned Hamberger displays and they actually offered to trade them out for new ones but I never got around to it. The penguins seem to be made of hardened latex. Darrid, have you ever run across pieces that smell like someone just peeled out on bald tires at an intersection?
  2. Going on the theory that plastic ages faster in heat, I didn't store my blow molds in my attic until I had it properly ventilated a few years ago. When I was reorganizing last year I bought two sizes of clear plastic trash can liners at a janitorial supply store and sealed most of them in those. This keeps them dust free while allowing me to see what I want to retrieve.
  3. Thanks, and did Crystal Valley also make the big municipal plastic lanterns and the ornaments that were about 25% larger than the consumer-marketed Beco ones? I see none of the big plastic stuff in their current selection but if you want a fun January read, look through the catalogs at their website.
  4. Does anyone here know who manufactured these?
  5. Zip code is 67502 for anything north of 17th ave I drove by both displays tonight and they look great. I liked the hippopotamus song used at Heather Parkway.
  6. Thanks for this useful information. I got my Beco Santa out of storage today and started to plug him in when I remembered this post and figured I'd wait until I have time to open him and check the state of his lubrication. He was kind of noisy when I ran him last year for a video - - too loud for inhabited rooms and too delicate to put outside, so into the attic window he goes.
  7. I know there are mentions on the web that CFL bulbs might fade colors due to their higher UV output (this would occur to anyone experienced in displaying art that uses dyes of any kind) but has anyone who uses CFL bulbs in molds actually seen this happen? I am wondering if the plastic would filter the UV light before it reaches the surface where the paint is - which brings up the question of possible yellowing of plastic or other damage to polymers. So, has anyone who uses CFLs noticed any detrimental changes in their molds? Thanks!
  8. I ran a video of my automated leprechaun on my blog today: http://www.thelope.com/blog.htm I still need to find a Union leprechaun. I passed a semi last week that had one attached to the front grill.
  9. Yes, I do decorate a bit for St Pats Day. I put a lighted shamrock in my attic window where it has great visibility. I usually have some seasonal thing in that window. I also have an old animated leprechaun in the living room.
  10. Was the Union leprechaun actually marketed as a leprechaun or is it simply a green garden gnome? Either way, I think I have to get one of those.
  11. Ahh...what a lovely mental exercise. I yearn for the Creature from the Black Lagoon - wouldn't he look cool in his back-lit green splendor? Robby the robot from Forbidden Planet could be a gray body with a clear dome and maybe a few LED lights in the gizmos that are visible beneath the dome. For added fun, the small antennae on either side of his head could be free spinning to catch the wind. Maria the Art Deco android from the silent German expressionist film, Metropolis, would be a great mold since the character looked pretty stiff anyway, but that's probably getting too obscure. A TARDIS from Doctor Who would be easy, as it's basically a big blue box. For Yuletide flavor - and there are Doctor Who Christmas specials every year - there could be a light on top that flashes red and green. The starship Enterprise, either classic or Next Generation, could be a multi-piece opaque white mold with lighting provided by LED spotlights that skim the hull and transparent inserts in appropriate places - the ends of the engine nacelles, for example. The colors could be red and green for the season. This would probably be expensive, very theft-prone and too fragile for practical use on a lawn, but man...it could look cool. A Notre Dame gargoyle would be better than the goofy blow molded gargoyles I've seen. A harlequin for Mardi Gras and a cupid for V-day would be fitting. And give me an Honest Abe for Presidents Day. As to Christmas, I'd be pretty happy with more stylistic and better engineered versions of the basics. A sleigh with metal runners would be easier to anchor and would better stand extreme winds and the weight of ice. I like my old motorized Empire Santa and sleigh, but I had to build a metal support underneath the sleigh because it was to top-heavy. A blow mold sleigh, I think, should be the decorative part of a thoughtfully placed metal frame that actually bears the stresses. A component system for sleigh/Santa/reindeer would be interesting and allow for customization with pieces of different styles, three poses of reindeer, etc. I have to stop thinking about this before my brain explodes.
  12. Someone who has worked with home insulation products for a few decades might be able to give us an answer on the age of the yellow foam. The stuff is really doing its job well; even the thin legs feel really solid. A couple decades ago I experimented with filling vinyl inflatables with foam so they could be used in outdoor displays without the over-inflation and drooping caused by ambient temperature variations. This would also have allowed me to drill into them for more versatile mounting. I eventually abandoned the effort because I could never get the foam to cure correctly inside the inflatables. I'm a bit new to Internet groups of this type, but I guess I don't see any harm in revealing the price. I paid about $135 - much more than common sense would dictate one should shell out for deteriorated seasonal ornamentation, but the grace of the reindeer had really enchanted me. I'd been asking about buying it (it was a store, after all) for several years, so I was happy to write the check. I think the owner thought the set's condition was getting bad enough that she needed to let it move on, but really wasn't eager for that to happen so she set the price rather high (she started at $150). Funny thing - her associate asked me if I planned to repaint it, hoping that I wouldn't. I'll look again for markings on it when I have the time. As I look at photos of him, I wonder why the paint on Santa's face fared so much better than the rest of him. Also, it occurs to me the reindeer could be motorized to turn its head...hmm.
  13. Hello all, it's a pleasure to have found this group. I'm trying to identify the manufacturer of an old and somewhat deteriorated reindeer/Santa/sleigh set I bought at a local antique store. Here they are in the yard of the store right before I bought them. The reindeer and Santa are mostly white due to paint loss. The owner kept them outside much of the time for the last few years and was only agreeable to selling them this past year, when I purchased them. They looked almost this white when the dealer obtained them from another dealer. I have not been able to trace them farther back. The reindeer is over five feet long and is the most graceful pose I've seen. Here he is in my attic with an unrelated Santa stored behind him. He and the Santa are made of what feels like thin plaster but is probably old, hardened vinyl or latex, filled with foam. The surfaces of them are cracked and bear layers of lead paint which is chipping off. The ends of the antlers are gone. The head is detachable and can be rotated. A quick look through ye ole Internet led me to this thread on Mold-craft reindeer at this site, which shows two poses of the reindeer. So, at first I thought my reindeer was a third pose (one leg on mine points forward) made by Mold-Craft. Though the leg positioning is different, there's a great stylistic resemblance. However, a page on icollector.com mentions markings, which I have not found on mine. And my Santa does not look much like that Mold-Craft Santa bust pictured at Blow Molds R Us, though he also exists only from the waist up. Then I found this page of the website of Marshal Moody, a seasonal decor company. These are listed on another page as fiberglass outdoor decor, but the sleigh, at least, is not. Perhaps the Santa and reindeer also are not. I have emailed Marshal Moody with some questions but have received no answer as of yet. My wood sleigh is a dead ringer for theirs. No paint is chipping from it, which makes me wonder if it is as old as the other pieces. I rather doubt that Marshal Moody made their own sculpts, but I suppose it's possible. I don't think the company is old enough to have produced something with lead paint. So I guess the question is: who would have made this set, long enough ago that lead paint was used? I still think it looks like Mold-Craft, but I have not seen any pictures of this exact reindeer pose credited to that company.
  14. If your neighbor can't find the lantern, I'm pretty sure the lantern part of the Poloron Noel lamp post is the same thing.
  15. So, I'm cruising the net for blow mold info and I ran across one of my own photos. I joined so I could post a link to the gun-totin' bunny in context: http://www.thelope.com/blog.htm It's about 1/5 of the way down a front page that also has other Christmas stuff, and will have more added this week; or here's the shortcut: http://www.thelope.com/2009/12/sacred-and-profane.html . Neat group you have here, by the way!
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