Ho-Ho-Ho! Take a Look Back At These Historic Christmas Tree Patents!

Dec 14, 2022

Think about all the holiday sights and sounds that surround us in December, or even the different parts of your own Christmas tree. Many of those elements of “Christmas cheer” began with a patent, including a number of historic patents relating to Christmas trees. Let’s travel with the Ghost of Christmas Past to take a look at some of the most interesting Christmas tree patents as this year’s holiday season rolls around.

Christmas Tree Watering Apparatus

Everyone loves to have a Christmas tree in their living room when the holidays roll around. You can decorate it with all your favorite ornaments and place presents under the tree, waiting for the big day. And the charm of a live Christmas tree is hard to beat with plastic. Except for one thing: live Christmas trees have to be watered in order to stay fresh and full for the holiday season. This can be a pain, especially reaching down through thick branches to reach the Christmas tree base.

There have been a number of patents to address this issue. One of the first was granted to Donald P. Voorhis in 1990 and became patented on April 13, 1993. His solution was to create a reservoir that would be connected to the tree base by a cord and could feed water to the tree. At worst, the reservoir would need to be refilled. As a nice holiday touch, Voorhis recommended the reservoir be contained within a gift wrapped box to blend in with the rest of the gifts.

Christmas Tree Ornament Securing Means

Christmas tree ornaments, to this day, are still often held onto the tree with string or a thin wire hook. Though simple, these fastening means can be a little flimsy, which is why so many families end up with shattered ornaments under the tree in December. Paul E. Lengyel had an idea for a more dynamic securing means, which he patented on September 29, 1970. He created a V-shaped hook which could be attached to the ornament and then squeezed around the branch of the Christmas tree in order to hold more securely.

Christmas Lights

Christmas lights have been hanging from trees for almost 150 years. There are countless patents that relate to Christmas lights: from snap on Christmas lights to Christmas light controls or “winking” Christmas lights. But what was the first patent that led to Christmas lights? Well, it wasn’t specifically a Christmas light patent at all, but it’s one you may already know.

In 1880, Thomas Edison received a patent for the “electric lamp” or the first light bulb. Two years later, his friend and partner at Edison’s Illumination Company used light bulbs to create a string of red and blue lights which he hung on his Christmas tree.

This was designed as an alternative to the tradition that began with Victorian England, one of hanging candles on the Christmas tree. Although the effect was beautiful, it was also understandably dangerous, causing a number of house fires. These Christmas string lights offered the impact of light glowing through the dark branches of the trees without as much risk for burning down the house.

Protect Your Inventions With Help From Garcia-Zamor

An inventor can be inspired by everything, including a favorite holiday. Do you have an invention that you want to share with the world? Just like these inventors throughout history, you’ll need to take steps to protect your invention by applying for a patent.

Our team at Garcia-Zamor can help. We have over two decades of combined experience when it comes to intellectual property law. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.