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The American custom of using electric lights began in 1882 when an associate of Thomas Edison, Edward Johnson, hand-wired 80 red, white and blue bulbs and wound them around a rotating evergreen tree.

In 1895, President Grover Cleveland set up a lighted Christmas tree in the White House and the general public began to notice.
Edison's company, General Electric, began offering hand-blown bulbs that could be wired together like beads on a string. Homeowners had to hire a "wireman" to stab the mess together, and rent a generator to power it. At the turn of the century, the larger department stores started to set up illuminated trees to attract customers. Members of high society began hosting Christmas Tree parties. In 1903, The American Eveready Co. came out with a light set more like we know today that included screw-in bulbs and a plug for the wall socket. And the rest, as they say, is history

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