ELECTRIC CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
CUT FIRE HAZARD
IN LEWES AND REHOBOTH
There was a custom to decorate Christmas Trees at home in early years with open flame candles which created a fire hazard and local fire departments gave warning and instructions , such as, don't light candles and leave them burn when not at the tree, keeps the tree away from other items that might burn, etc.
In the early 1930's the electric lights for Christmas trees became available and coastal Delaware towns sponsored contest, with prizes like toasters, waffle irons, heating pads and other household appliances, and homeowners decorated with colorful lights.
The January 5th 1934 Delaware Coast Press reported, “ Lewes homes, during Christmas week, where better decorated than last last year” and 150 homes were decorated with the colorful lights.
From there on, only WWII caused these towns to curtail Christmas outside lighting, due to 'blackout' regulations.
Delaware Diary, Michael Morgan, Delaware Coast Press, 5 January, 1934.