Christmas candle tree decorations. Candles were used to light Christmas trees before the invention of electricity. The metal holder would be clipped onto a branch on the tree and candles placed securely into the holder. The candles would be lit for a short amount of time with people present in the room to ensure nothing else caught alight. It was common for a bucket of sand or water to be in the same room in case of emergencies.

It is believed that the first candle lit in a Christmas tree was by Martin Luther in 1525 to symbolise the arrival of Christ.

In 1882 Edward Hibberd Johnson, (Vice President of the Edison Light Company) used an Edison generator to make the first electric Christmas lights. The red, white and blue lights were displayed in New York on his Christmas tree in his parlour. By 1890 these lights were being widely marketed to the general public.

More information:

Date 1900s, 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s
Material(s) Metal
Item number MBPO269

Questions to help you remember using this item

  • Did you ever have these candle holders on your tree?
  • Is your Christmas tree real fir or artificial?
  • What decorations do you put on your tree?
  • Do you have white or multi-coloured lights on your tree?

User Stories

We have white lights on our tree and after many years of having an angel we now have a star on the top. I still have some 1960’s glass baubles, in the original packaging handed down to me from my parents. – Helen

Share your thoughts on this item

Join the discussion by sharing your memories of this item with other website visitors.