|The production of
Christmas bubble lights started in the 1940s in the United States. Somewhere
along the way they were also produced in Italy as can be seen in photo
Bubble 5. Whether or not Bubble 2 and 3 were manufactured in the States
cannot be derived from the boxes; further more they look a lot like the World Wide version, shown on George Nelson's site (bubble light identification).
I will not go into detail here on the production of bubble lights, as
this would only mean repeating text from books and publications and not
information I have found myself.
36 x 16,5 cm;
Container: 35,5 cm long.
Usalite BUBBLE LAMPS INDOOR SERIES SET.
Blue plastic electrical cord with 8 black ribbed bakelite sockets with
spring clips attached.
On one side of the box is “No. 108” and on the base are “Usalite
quality features” and “Set-up instructions for wagon”.
The circus wagon set is pre-1960; the
bubble lights used were produced during 1949-1958 and again
during 1973-1978; I have been told that outward there is no difference,
only the lamps are different, but it cannot be seen from the outside.
The set with 9 bubble lights has the ref. "No. 109".
the base of the container are directions and information, such as for replacement
to use “Usalight 15 volt bubble lamp no. 106” and set-up instructions
for the wagon.
Box: 25,5 x 28 cm.
No make or factory name; only on the base of the box is stamped “No.
2750” and “220V-240V”.
Green plastic electrical cord with 12 green sockets with green metal clips.
There is room for two reserve lights.
Inside the lid is stamped “Attention. Bien visser toutes les ampoules
They look a lot like World Wide (1973-1979)(bubble light identification)
Box: 32,5 x 28 cm.
No make or factory name.
Green plastic electrical cord with 16 green sockets. There is room for two
A similar box is shown in the page “Boxed Sets Various”under
"ER7", showing a label that is included in the box. They look a lot like World Wide (1973-1979) (bubble light identification).
These are well known.
Blue plastic electrical cord with black/green mottled ribbed 9 bakelite
sockets. On the string is what appears to be an original label, one side
shown here; on the other side is printed “Made in the U.S.A. PLANT
C FOR INDOOR USE ONLY STRING NO. G”.
On one short side of the box is a sticker “CAT.NO.509-C”.
and “PAT.NO. RE. 22,289, 2,353,063, 2,383,941 OTHER PATS. PEND.”
On another box, possible older,
is printed in a white panel “CAT.NO.508” and “8-LIGHT
SET”, and there is indeed only room for 8 lights.
39,5 x 24 cm.
"F.A.A.L. S.R.L. FABBRICA APPARECCHI ARTISTICI LUMINOSI BREVETTO
Green plastic electrical cord with 12 green bakelite holders.
The plastic cover snaps over the light bulb and the bubble stick can be
removed for easy replacement of defective bulbs.
I bought the box as is, but the lights portrayed on the cover differ from
the lights in the box.
I was fortunate in finding a similar box with spare parts, but without
I have not yet been able to find information on this make.
Inside the lid is a stamped text: “ATTENTIONE In questa scatola
le lampade sono del tipo B.I. 18 In caso di richiesta segnalare il tipo.
ITALIA 200/220”. (ATTENTION In this box lamps
are the type B.I. 18 In case of a request report this type).
“Royalites sparkling with endless streams of tiny bubbles”.
16 Replacement bubble lights. Different colors, such as yellow, orange,
red, green and clear.
On the individual cardboard packing is mentioned that “klip included
to attach light to tree”, but they are no longer there. They were
probably offered for sale in a box, but this got lost somewhere from one
Christmas to another.
Box: 19 x 42cm.
“NOMA BUBBLE-LITES”, well known bubble lights. Blue plastic cord
with 9 black ribbed Bakelite holders, and 9 metal clips for upright securing
on the branches. The original plug has been
On the two short sides of the box is printed “CAT. NO. 509” with
some more patent and production information, such as “Made in U.S.A.”, “© 1948
N.E. CORP.”, “REG. U.S. PAT. OFF.”.
On the base of the box, in a large yellow panel, there is printed information
about the production and hints of these bubble lights.
The lights are described as "Noma saucer" and were produced in 1948, but
as these were more easily damaged by the heat from the light bulb, Noma switched
back to their normal biscuit model in 1949.
Some additional information about the Noma "Saucer" set of 1948, given by Ted Altof (of http://www.papatedsplace):
"It is known to American collectors as "The Boy's Set," because of the little boy pictured on the box cover. The complementary set with the regular pantaloon bases is conversely known as "The Girl's Set" for the obvious reason. These terms only apply to those late 1940s sets with the stiff cover known as the "book boxes." Later sets have less lavish boxes and by the early sixties had only 8 lights instead of the former 9. This made the bulbs burn hotter and last less time - and crazed the plastic bases terribly - but it was nearing the end of the great bubble light era. The Boy's Set was one year only, and both types were available in 1948.
The "Girl's Set" continued into the nearly mid '50s. These were both Noma's first introduction of the bubble light to the world, I think 1947. These first sets were both of higher quality than was ever seen again, and were an immediate sensation. When the original Otis Patent (1938) was overturned a few years later, competition flooded in and cheapened everything. By 1960 bubble lights were coming in strings of 8, flimsy boxes and were pretty much junk, and the new tiny lights from Japan and then Taiwan were starting to arrive."