Ho! Ho! Ho! Happy Holidays from the Cartographic Branch! In the spirit of Christmas, with the help of RG 241: Utility Patents, we would like to offer up some guidance and general ideas surrounding Christmas trees and things to do this holiday season! Whether you are more into putting up and decorating the tree, wrapping presents, or enjoying a snow day, RG 241: Utility Patents has something for you!
First of all, if you are planning to put up a Christmas tree, you should probably start with a Christmas-Tree Holder, like the one shown above. This very sturdy-looking holder comes from the year 1880 and looks more that strong enough to do the job with both tabs and screws to hold the tree in place.
Now that we have seen the tree holder, we need to look for a tree to go in it! Here we have a choice of two different styles, depending on your taste. The older of the two artificial trees comes to us in the form of A. Wengenroth’s “Imitation Christmas Tree”, from the year 1882. This one has a nice, traditional tree shape and features fuzzy branched mimicking a real tree.
The second of the two trees, M.C. Crook’s “Artificial Christmas Tree”, from 1911, is somewhat more stylized. This tree, which features a lovely twisted wire design, does make one wonder if the wire arms are supposed to be able to be arranged into a more traditional shape or if they are designed to remain in the single layer shape as it appears in the drawing. Either way, this tree does not skimp on places to hang ornaments!
Every tree needs ornaments to make is sparkle and shine! And speaking of ornaments, we have a patent for that. Behold! B. Wilmsen’s patent for “Christmas Tree Ornament”, from the year 1890. These pretty little ornaments would definitely add a festive feel to any tree that they went on!
Here a fun fact! Aside from the patents themselves being interesting, the text on the patents can be quite odd, and this particular patent offers a great example of “odd”.
“How so?” you might ask.
Well, if you look at the title, you will notice that it says “ornament” when there are clearly eight different ornaments! Also, if you look in the upper right hand corner, you will notice that these are classified as “Artificial Flowers”.
Next, we need something to put under the tree, and again, this record group does not fail us! In this instance, it looks like someone is getting a small toy engine of some type which is moved around a small track through the use of a tiny crank on the side toy.
Finally, once the tree is up, and the presents are wrapped and under the tree, maybe a bit of sledding is in order. But we aren’t talking about just any old sled for our snow day!
We are talking about the 1871 William Erd Sleigh Velocipede! This fancy bit of engineering is a cross between a sleigh and a bicycle, of sorts, whereby you turn the wheels using the two levers, one on each side, presumably sending you zooming across the snowy ground!
It brings a whole new meaning to , “Dashing Through the Snow!” with no horse needed!
Happy Holidays from the Cartographic Branch!