Christmas lights history

These fluorescent lamp sets were designed for multiple (parallel)

operation and could be used also in any cords with the multiple-burning

type of incandescent lamps. Each lamp was a complete operating circuit,

somewhat similar to the larger fluorescent lamp circuits employed for

general lighting. The lamp consisted of a round bulb coated inside with

a phosphor or fluorescing material, activated by an electric discharge

within the bulb. The ballast was a resistor built into the base of the lamp.

According to a 1945 Syh,ania Lighting News, published by Sylvania Electric

Products, Inc. Salem, Massachusetts, “The cathode design lends itself

particularly well to other shapes–the limiting factor being the bulb open-

ing through which the cathode structure must be passed in the process

of manufacture. Lamps in the shapes of candles, Santa Claus, Christmas

trees, crosses, and a host of others are entirely possible.” These lamps did

not contain mercury as intermediate fluorescent did, and the electrical

discharge is of the glow type rather than an arc. They have no filament

but work on the same principle as the long tube fluorescent bulbs in

kitchen and office fixtures. The white coating is just plain white paint

as in some ordinary household lamps.

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