Mary Bellis, Inventors, About.com
"It begins with the tradition of using small candles to light up the Xmas tree.
"The tradition of using small candles to light up the Christmas tree dates back to at least the middle of the XVIIth century. However, it took two centuries for the tradition to become widely established first in Germany and soon spreading to Eastern Europe.
"Candles for the tree were glued with melted wax to a tree branch or attached by pins. Around 1890, candleholders were first used for Christmas candles. Between 1902 and 1914, small lanterns and glass balls to hold the candles started to be used...."
Decades later, safe Christmas tree lights were invented.
There's more on the About.com website, about Christmas stuff. The articles called, accurately if not pedantically:
Which is another topic.
- "Christmas Lights & Music at Disneyworld"
(December 18, 2010)
- "Christmas Lights: On a Truck"
(December 24, 2009)
- "Better Ideas From Unscrupulous Manufacturers: Christmas: Incendiary LED Lights"
(December 23, 2009)
- "2001, THX, and Christmas Lights: a Video"
(December 12, 2009)
- "Christmas Light Show With Carol of the Bells (the Traditional One) - and a Bonus"
(December 9, 2009)