On the third day of Christmas my Museum showed to me three candle clips!
We have a few of these candle clips that were used to place candles onto the Christmas tree before the usage of Christmas lights.
Candles on Christmas trees began to appear in the 1500s. Candles were extremely expensive at the time and the appearance of them on trees was a way to show off your family’s wealth. Luckily by the 1800’s candles started to become more affordable allowing middle class families the opportunity to adorn their trees with them. Candles were only to be lit when there were people in the room (who would be able to quickly put out any fires) as trees became more dangerous when they dried out. Originally the candles were attached to the tree with pins, or using the hot wax from the candle, it was not until around 1890s that candle holders started to be utilized. The shape helps prevent the hot wax from dripping onto the tree, as the tray like piece on the bottom collects the wax.
Unfortunately for those who like the look of candles on trees there are some glaringly obvious reasons why these were not the best option. In 1882, Edison’s Electric Light Company’s Edward Johnson used the first electric lights on trees. This was extremely expensive at the time, so it was not until the price of electric lights went down in the 1930s that they started to overtake candles as the way to light up the tree. Nowadays most new trees have lights built into them so we no longer have to fumble with cords that always seem to tangle (not to mention the annoying old lights where one light goes out and they all went out, and the hassle to fix them!).
Do you have lights on your Christmas tree?