Asked on Oct 28, 2014

How can I re-create this vintage Christmas tree light?

by GeeJudy
My sister and I each had one of this and my mom let us keep them on in our bedroom before we fell asleep--nice memories. And the tree would spin when the lightbulb heated up the paper.
vintage Christmas Tree light from the 50's
  18 answers
  • Mn Mn on Oct 29, 2014
    perhaps it was on the order of a candelabra where there was a small fan blade that heated air (rises making movement) made it turn. Was there something like a blade (fan blade or like a wind mill in miniature) inside?
    • See 3 previous
    • James Beck James Beck on Nov 05, 2017

      No fan or motor is part of these lamps. The heat from the bulb heats the center spindle, all the way to the needle-like point, which causes the lightweight shade to spin.

      The hardest thing to reproduce/recreate is the light bulb. It was a painted incandescent bulb, but painted with an opaque paint - probably something horribly toxic, lol. But I have not found a modern lightbulb yet that comes close to reproducing the kind of light they produced. Very richly colored. If anybody knows of something comparable, share it here!

  • Lori Brink-Baker Lori Brink-Baker on Oct 29, 2014
    Vintage Econolite 1948 Christmas GreenTree Motion Lamp ...
  • Wendy Johnson Wendy Johnson on Oct 29, 2014 stuff from my childhood
  • Hb Hb on Jan 02, 2016
    This was a ROTO-VUE by ECONOLITE 1951 Green Christmas Tree MOTION LAMP I guess you could try to reproduce or if you have lots of money you can buy one just like it. or
    • See 1 previous
    • Hel Hel on Jan 15, 2017

      Looking through some thrift shops or even Goodwill might be a few good places to start shopping for next Christmas. came across the last two Welches jelly jars to gift to my Sister this Christmas! Now she has all six and is overjoyed!🎄🍀🎄

  • GeeJudy GeeJudy on Jan 02, 2016
    Ha Ha--$300 is ridiculous for something Gramma E purchased the green, red & blue ones for probably less than $2,00 apiece at the Factory Outlet store
  • GeeJudy GeeJudy on Jan 03, 2016
    I know I could buy it--I want to recreate it--thanx
    • Roark Behler Roark Behler on Dec 07, 2016

      I am actually making one of these. We had one when i was awee tike. I actually made the cone tree shape now looking for a base to mount the rod that holds the tree up. I just noticed that the we had is on here with the skaters. It appears to have a wire around the bade part of tree. Im hoping that i dont need that. If Anyone knows is it needed please let me know. Thank you. When its finished ill post a picture if im not to embarrassed by my work.

  • Hb Hb on Jan 04, 2016
    Hi again GeeJudy . I had never seen one of these lamps so my posts to you were in response to my research to find out more about them . I do realize you said you would like to recreate it , but I thought I would send the links to the ones for sale as there were images attached to show how it is put together . Did not mean to frustrate you. Do you remember how tall the lamp was.? During researching these I have saved some images and it doesnt look like there are any moving parts except the shade. The base has an offset metal piece that is set to one side of the bulb and then bends at a right angle to the center of the top of the bulb and then goes straight up .The metal support on the lamp itself would also be fairly straight forward to make . So it would simply be a matter of trying to recreate the shade . Was the shade made of heavy paper ? did it have an insert or cardboard cone on the inside . One image I found had a cardboard cone alongside the pic of the shade . Having not owned one I dont know if that cardboard cone is simply for storing the shade when not in use(i.e. slipping the cone inside the shade so it doesnt fold or bend or crack or if it is actually a component of the shade . I would think that making the cone would be pretty straight forward and it is more a matter of which materials are needed to make the shade. You could make the outside of the shade any pattern you want . I saw a gold one , a red one , a green one, a Santa one and another that had vingtage images of Skaters at the base and what looked like the sky above them so that they would go round and round under the stars . You have peaked my interest and I am going to try to recreate it . If I do and come up with a pattern I would be glad to share with you when that time comes.
    • See 1 previous
    • Karen Karen on Nov 24, 2020

      What type of paper is best to use when heat is involved for the spinning?

  • Gerri L Goss Gerri L Goss on Dec 22, 2016

    How did you cut the "boughs" in the cone? (prior to rolling I imagine)

    What kind of paper did you use to create the tree?

    I have a vintage blue one from my childhood and it reminds me of Christmas with Mom and Dad so long ago. I love it and it is becoming very fragile. I might be willing to pay $150 for one in better shape than mine. It is blue.


  • Herman munster Herman munster on Dec 02, 2017

    I have an original and found these plans from December 1956 issue of Mechanix Illustrated ? It's missing the second page but it's just a bent wire around the base with a point on the end the cone can ride on.

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    • Tiffany Tiffany on Dec 23, 2020

      Any luck? I am interested in making one of these too. I think the date on the pictured page might say “1958.” Had one as a kid.

  • Janet Bayer Rowland Janet Bayer Rowland on Dec 04, 2019

    I have my mom's and was planning on using this year. My brother seems to have thrown out the base. This has been wonderful!!!

  • GeeJudy GeeJudy on Nov 16, 2022

    Is that you Denise?

  • GeeJudy GeeJudy on Nov 16, 2022

    I’m still interested in buying one

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Oct 19, 2023

    Card or flexible plastic. Cut out a Circle - divide into 4 . Use one 1/4 circle and cut out shapes on it. Roll into tree shape. Put on top of Touch type light ( you can buy these cheaply as sets of 4).

    • GeeJudy GeeJudy on Oct 19, 2023

      Thanks but not the same. If I tried it would look disappointing

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Oct 19, 2023

    Have you tried looking on eBay etc.

  • Gina C. Gina C. on Nov 10, 2023

    I have a base with a light bulb (it still works) if you're interested in it.i bought it brand new in a box 15 years ago. I didn't know that it was a worthwhile item until the i had already thrown out the box. The paper tree also desintegrated.