Issue #9 – How Technology Changed December

By Cory McClure and Jordan Smyth; Photos by Jocelyn Land

Many people are interested in showing the spirit of the holiday not only with words but by expression of decoration as well. But many also under appreciate the technology of a simple Holiday light display and give no thought to how much technology has changed this much anticipated season. It’s hard to believe that only 200 years ago people were using lanterns and glass balls holding candles to light up trees and surrounding areas. Open flames can be a hazard and being a person with a disability it would have made it highly unsafe and difficult to fulfill these procedures. In the early 1900’s stores finally started selling a string of 80 lights but there were many tragic fires due to electrical problems in the lighting.

 

 

It wasn’t until around 1917 when a man named Albert Sadacca decided there had to be a way to stop the tragedies. He wanted to restore the peace and tranquility of the season, thus the safe Holiday lights were born. He started selling only white lights at first but after a few years expanded to multi-colored lighting. It is great that we have broken past those medieval methods of decorating and have advanced from wooden hand-made holiday decorations and faulty lighting to be able to bring the holidays to life Technology has dramatically changed holiday displays and today people all over the world use thousands of strands of lights in order to show others around them that it is time to celebrate. Some lights are individually powered in order to change in different patterns. Some strands of lights are used to mimic the look of icicles.

Other lights not only change colors and patterns, they change in perfect harmony with a music pre-recorded into the strands. Instead of lanterns and wood paintings to put out on the lawn, we now have giant animated inflatable snow globes with dancing animals and fake snow. Many people now have lights that form the appearance of deer grazing or flying while pulling Santa’s sleigh. Holiday lights are now much smaller(and safer) than the original light bulbs that were used, don’t get hot like the old bulbs, are water proof, and ultimately are the largest asset to the holiday experience. So this year when you set up your mechanical reindeer and musical lights give thanks to those who make these technologies possible.

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