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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

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Everything posted by Mel Fischer

  1. The first Mold-Craft Reindeer sculpted by **** Wiken in 1951. The picture is from an April 4, 1951 newspaper. Mel
  2. Mold-Craft did make both Rudolph and the antlered life size reindeer that were painted white. The faun colored Rudolph was their #52-SB and the faun colored antlered deer was their #52-A they also had antlered deer with a white flashing bulb nose #52-AB. The white painted Rudolph was their #52-SBW and the white painted antlered deer was their #52-AW. They also had the white antlered deer with a white flashing bulb nose available. The price was same for either color, the antlered deer with the white flashing bulb nose was $3 more then the antlered deer without the lighted nose. I do not have any information at this time for a white life size set but I do think that they must have sold them as a set also considering there was no difference in the price for the colors. As a side note, Mold-Craft referred to the "brown" colored reindeer as being faun colored in their brochure. Mold-Craft also made the Junior Reindeer in white. The white junior reindeer was #22-AW they also had this one with a white flashing bulb nose #22-ABW. The white painted Junior Rudolph was their #22-SBW. The faun colored Junior antlered reindeer was #22-A. The faun colored junior Rudolph was their #22-SB. The price was the same for either color of the junior reindeer. Mel
  3. The picture that you posted of the three deer has a small white deer while the three deer picture on the image 7 and choir pamphlet has the middle size deer in white. Also the girls in the two pictures are different.
  4. it does not appear to me that image 7 is from the same pamphlet as the 3 deer picture you posted, the picture referenced as on the back cover is different from the picture you posted. I lean towards your image 7 possibly being from 1954 or 1955. The pamphlet with image 7 also has the complete 18 piece choir singer set and to my knowledge Wiken sculpted the last ones for that set in 1954. Your image 2 is no later then 1952 as it has a Milwaukee address and Mold-Craft started their move to Port Washington in 1952. I do think your images 3, 4 and 7 are from the same pamphlet which I lean towards being from 1954 or 1955 at this time. The deer set in image 3 were noted as a "new model life size deer" that year. I think that your images 5 & 6 might have originally been posted here by Bill Weis several years ago Mel
  5. Thank you for the kind words but I do not consider myself as the "king of the blow mold community" I do have a good amount of knowledge about the blow molds but there are others that have a lot of knowledge also . It would be nice if they would be willing to share some of what they know. My information on the years Wiken sculpted for Mold-Craft came from Anna Passante the author of "**** Wiken, Milwaukee Architectural Sculptor" there is a small section on Mold-Craft in the book. I was in contact with her while she was writing the book and she told me she communicated with Wiken's daughter Jori who had Wiken's old files and records from the time period he worked with Mold-Craft. The book has photos on pages 56, 58 & 59 that I contributed. Which deer pamphlet (the one with the color Image of 3 of the sizes on the front) as possibly being from 1951 are you referring to, could you please post a picture of it? Does it have a location for Mold-craft on it (Milwaukee or Port Washington)? Mel
  6. David, do you have any information on the double sided one in the first picture in this thread? It is different from the ones in the page that you posted. Mel
  7. Hi Scott, Your Santa is the 40" Empire #15791 Santa, they also made him as their #16261 "African American Santa". He was introduced as new in their 1999 catalog. In their 2000 catalog they have him as their #1579 and do not mention the African American version. They only had him for two years and we don't see him very often General Foam bought Empire's molds in 2000 and both the Santa and African American Santa are in their 2001 catalog. They made him up through 2011. I will check my files and see if I have anything on the candles. Mel
  8. Another Mold-Craft king size set with a different Santa circa 1957. Mel
  9. An honorable profession for anyone who takes pride in their work. I was only in the trade for about 15 years, we bought a business in 1974 to supplement the income but by 1977 the business was giving us a comfortable income and I left the electrical trade and spent the rest of my working years with the business. We retired in 1999 and have enjoyed retirement and blow molds continuously since then. At this time our blow mold collection consists of over 1000 with very few duplicates and my real interest these days is researching the history of the blow molds and the makers of them. Mel
  10. Yes, I know you do respond but the majority do not. It does get discouraging when I take the time to look up the information and post it and many times there are a lot of views but no comments whatsoever. It is that way in most of the Facebook groups also. I personally do not know of any groups that are interested in actually discussing the blow molds other then the value or where they can get them cheap. There does not seem to be much of anyone that is interested in and discussing the history of the holiday blow molds and that has been my main interest in them the last few years. Even Kev does not appear to have any interest anymore as he has not done any updating of blow-molded.com for three years now and I and others have sent many pictures and updated information to him during this time period. Mel
  11. I notice that you have no dates for any of the cropped catalog images that you posted so there is no way to determine the order in which they were made. Hopefully in the future we will be able to date some them so that they can be put in chronological order. **** Wiken was not connected with Mold-Craft in the 1940's, he sculpted for them from 1951 through 1954. Mel
  12. Donna, Yes, they are hard to the touch and they are heavier then regular plastic blow molds. And yes, $39.95 was expensive in 1961, at that time I was an apprentice electrician and a union journeyman electrician made just over $4 an hour. I am happy to say that the ones in the picture are in our collection and last summer we acquired an original box for the set.
  13. Hi Donna, I'm around at least for a while again. The snowman looks familiar but I can not find it in my files yet (if it is in the files). I know what you mean by nobody bothers to respond, that is why I left. People would ask for information and I would do what I could to help and then they didn't even acknowledge that they got thee information so I gave up on it. Mel
  14. Artistic Latex Form # LCS 20 Choir Singer set. They are 20" high and the choir girl has a music box. We have a couple of newspaper ads from 1961 showing them, the set of three sold for $39.95 that year..
  15. MS L Industries purchased Beco Products in July 1965 and General Foam purchased the Beco molds from MSL in early 1970. Mel
  16. Donna, that is a great set. Apparently it was made by Lidco, we have three newspaper ads from 1969 showing the set with other Lidco items. Mel
  17. Charlie, small correction, those were the Grand Venture football snowmen, not Empire.
  18. Santa's Best had the Mrs. Claus made for them in Mexico up through 2002, General Foam made it for Santa's Best in 2003 and purchased the mold and made it under the GF name from 2004 up until it was discontinued. Mel
  19. A December 7, 1965 Daily Tribune newspaper Woolco ad with a pair of MSL Industries Angel Singers. Mel
  20. A 1955 newspaper picture with some of the Christmas items Spielbauer offered for the holiday. Note the Sculptoris choir boy and girl on the table we rarely see those anywhere. Mel
  21. Yes, TPI started making their 31" version in 1994, prior to that year theirs were 30". As I recall, Sun Hill also made the 30" version from the TPI molds and then Grand Venture acquired the molds for the TPI/Sun Hill 30" version in 1998 and made it until they closed their doors in 2005. There is an interesting history of some of the molds from MAC Plastics, TPI, Sun Hill, Falcon Plastics and Grand Venture which connects them all together. How many here even know that some of the TPI blow molds were made in the US for a few years? Mel
  22. Your bags look great to me, a lot of the looks for the sealing of the edges has to do with the setting of the time of the seal. When I have a piece of plastic that I am not sure how long to set the time for I use a scrap piece and start at a low setting and adjust from there until I am satisfied with the seal, then I use that setting to make the bag. Doesn't take long at all to do that. My wife and I grow a vegetable garden every year and use a vacuum sealer for bagging and freezing the vegetables for winter use and I also make clear plastic bags for separating the different vegetables in the freezer to make it easier to find them. We also do the same with meat that we buy in bulk at times. Just to clarify things, we use the regular store bought vacuum seal bags that we buy direct from Foodsaver when they have them on sale for the vegetables and meat, the bags I make for the freezer are what we put the vacuum sealed food in to keep it organized. That's just another use we have for the bag sealer along with making bags for other things at times for storing items. Mel
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