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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. 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
  2. Charlie, small correction, those were the Grand Venture football snowmen, not Empire.
  3. 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
  4. A December 7, 1965 Daily Tribune newspaper Woolco ad with a pair of MSL Industries Angel Singers. Mel
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. Kelly, that is definitely possible and I wondered about that myself. The only way we can know for sure is to hopefully see catalog pictures or advertisements showing yours. Possibly David (WLND-David) might know something about yours, he has done a lot of research into the municipal decorations. I have sent an email to him with the link to this thread as I see he hasn't been on PC since November 20 so he probably doesn't know about it.
  9. The last year for Grand Venture was 2005.
  10. Garrison-Wagner did not make their products, the Santa and bell wreaths shown in Sam's picture were indeed make by GP but they are not the same as what Kelly has. My guess would be that Kelly's were made by GP but at a earlier date then the ones in the G-W broadsheet. The ones in the Broadsheets and G-W catalogs that I have are double sided with the same on both sides, not a Santa on one side and the bells on the other. Mel
  11. If I recall correctly, when GF closed their doors they had cases of bags there for the taking. Mel
  12. Not all that much work compared to what it was before purchasing the new sealer. Now the main work is in measuring and cutting the plastic but then it is to each his own in caring for their blow molds. Mel
  13. Yes, those were first made by Beco. MSL Industries purchased Beco and their molds in 1965 and made several of the Beco items from 1965 through 1969 and those choir kids were two that they made. General Foam purchased the Beco molds from MSL in early 1970 and they first made that pair in 1970. I do not know how many years they made them. Mel
  14. If they are the ones I am thinking of they are not on blow-molded.com, I have not taken pictures of ours yet. Is this what the boy looks like? Mel
  15. General Foam bought all the Empire molds in 2001 after Empire filed for bankruptcy and closed their doors. At the time Empire also had some of the Bayshore, Lidco, Poloron and other company molds that General Foam got. Mel
  16. Yes, I think it would do 2 mil and possibly less, I do not know what the mil is on most of the plastic that I have used is but I have done thinner plastic then what General Foam, Union Products, etc. used for their bags. The only bags I use the thicker mattress plastic for are the large ones like in the picture. For some of the mattresses they use a much thinner plastic. I know you can use plastic as thin as a bread plastic bag as I have occasionally used them for temporary bags for other things. I have also used it to make padded bags out of bubble wrap. I just went on Amazon and read the questions and reviews on this sealer and an answer to one of the questions said that they use it on 2 mil. The reviews are mixed from good to bad as expected but I have been very satisfied with ours, it is better then what I expected and I have not had some of the problems some reviewers complain about. I did have a problem with the heating element (wire) and the seller refunded enough money to purchase two new elements on eBay which were easy for me to find. As it turned out, I was able to fix the original wire problem and am still using that original one and have the two from eBay as spares if needed. The problem I had was that one end piece was not clamped on the wire tight enough and it came off, I clamped a new one on and it is still working after making well over a bags with it. These are the replacement elements that I bought. https://www.ebay.com/itm/PFS-300-2-x-12-Impulse-Heat-Sealer-Replacement-Element-Kits-Fast-US-Ship/182665535112?hash=item2a87b6de88:g:iM0AAOxypNtSh8Lz:sc:USPSFirstClass!98277!US!-1:rk:1:pf:0 Mel
  17. No secret, I get the plastic from a couple of mattress stores, it comes from mattresses they have sold and they throw out the protective cover from the mattresses that they have sold and delivered. I received permission from the stores to collect the plastic from their dumpsters. Some of the plastic is in bad shape but other pieces are in good condition. the two large bags in the picture were made from one piece of plastic from a mattress. The plastic comes in different thicknesses, these happen to be the thicker type. The sealer I bought seals 12" at a time and is foot operated so I do not need the help I needed when using the small food sealer that I originally used. The heat time is adjustable for sealing different thicknesses of plastic and the stand that came with it is at a height that I can sit comfortably on a chair while sealing the plastic to make the bags which makes it easy to make the 5 - 6 foot long bags. I still need to make a couple of longer bags for a couple of life size wisemen. The sealer I have is like the one in this eBay auction. https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-110V-12-Foot-Pedal-Impulse-Sealer-Heat-Seal-Machine-Plastic-Bag-Sealing-US/401488401210?hash=item5d7a92d33a:g:HkcAAOSww-BacNwo:rk:1:pf:0 I do wonder at times how many of the people who spend many hours stripping and repainting their blow molds large or small actually think about protecting them in the off season from scuffs and scrapes from banging them around while putting them away with bags so they will continue to look great. Mel
  18. Fortunately no smoke, at least not yet. We had enough of that last summer with smoke from Oregon, eastern Washington and British Colombia, my wife has COPD and I have emphysema and we were confined indoors for several days at that time. Thanks for the compliment on the bags, I have made more of the extra large bags today since making the post. Mel
  19. Been busy making bags for the blow molds again. The Santa's Best AA Mrs Claus bag is 36" x 66" and the AA Santa bag is 36" x 72". The plastic sealer I bought several months ago for making the bags is a dream for making these extra large bags of heavy plastic without any help needed. Mel
  20. I agree on the skelemingos, we have both sizes of the Zombie flamingos but are lacking the skelemingos in our collection.
  21. Did you go to General Foam when they were closing?
  22. Yes, your candles are from Union Products, one of the identifiers to who made them is the date sticker, the original UP used to do that with their blow molds we have several new ones from the factory in our collection marked that way. They are also shown in the UP catalogs. You might try contacting Cado/Union Products and see if you could buy flames from them. All but three of the candles shown in the Union Products candle section on blow-molded.com are pictures of ones in our collection. We do have others that I have not taken pictures of yet.
  23. The local Target here did not have the big ones either, we had to go to another Target store that we usually don't go to.
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