2009 Holiday Lighting Display at GE Lighting & Electrical Institute, Nela Park, East Cleveland, Ohio, in Snowfall

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 12/28/2009 - 07:00.

2009 Holiday Lighting Display at GE Lighting & Electrical Institute, Nela Park, East Cleveland, Ohio, in Snowfall

Christmas Eve, my family drove across East Cleveland (all 3 miles long) to Nela Park - The GE Lighting & Electrical Institute - to see their remarkable, historic Holiday Lighting Display and share some photos on REALNEO. While beautiful at the time, the conditions were not quite right to truly show-off the lights and season.

The conditions were perfect tonight.

2009 Holiday Lighting Display at GE Lighting & Electrical Institute, Nela Park, East Cleveland, Ohio, in Snowfall

2009 Holiday Lighting Display at GE Lighting & Electrical Institute, Nela Park, East Cleveland, Ohio, in Snowfall

2009 Holiday Lighting Display at GE Lighting & Electrical Institute, Nela Park, East Cleveland, Ohio, in Snowfall

2009 Holiday Lighting Display at GE Lighting & Electrical Institute, Nela Park, East Cleveland, Ohio, in Snowfall 

2009 Holiday Lighting Display at GE Lighting & Electrical Institute, Nela Park, East Cleveland, Ohio, in Snowfall

2009 Holiday Lighting Display at GE Lighting & Electrical Institute, Nela Park, East Cleveland, Ohio, in Snowfall

2009 Holiday Lighting Display at GE Lighting & Electrical Institute, Nela Park, East Cleveland, Ohio, in Snowfall

2009 Holiday Lighting Display at GE Lighting & Electrical Institute, Nela Park, East Cleveland, Ohio, in Snowfall

2009 Holiday Lighting Display at GE Lighting & Electrical Institute, Nela Park, East Cleveland, Ohio, in Snowfall

2009 Holiday Lighting Display at GE Lighting & Electrical Institute, Nela Park, East Cleveland, Ohio, in Snowfall

2009 Holiday Lighting Display at GE Lighting & Electrical Institute, Nela Park, East Cleveland, Ohio, in Snowfall

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History of NELA PARK, from GE

From the GE Website:

History of Nela Park

History of Nela Park

One of Nela's best known buildings is the Lighting & Electrical Institute which receives thousands of customers and lighting professionals each year at its many conferences and training programs.


It began in 1879 when Edison invented the carbon filament lamp. The General Electric Company was formed by merging the Edison Electric Company and the Thomson Houston Company on April 15, 1892. That year, the company employed 10,000 people and had $20 million in sales.

At the turn of the century, entrepreneurs Franklin Terry and Burton Tremaine organized the National Electric Lamp Company (NELA) in Cleveland. GE invested in the company although it was a competitor in order to further the goal of standardizing the GE invented screw base. At that time there were many companies that made light bulbs with many different bases.

The GE logo was introduced on lamps and electrical appliances in 1907. Two years later "Mazda" was adopted as the trademark for certain lamps produced by GE after Mazda, the Persian God of Light.

By 1911 GE owned 75% of the National Electric Lamp Company and (by US federal court order) was asked to dissolve the company and do business under its own name. Terry and Tremaine proposed to GE that its lamp operations be relocated from Cleveland to the countryside. They purchased an abandoned vineyard seven miles outside Cleveland and construction began for Nela Park, the very first Industrial Park in the world!

In 1975 the 92 acre Nela Park was listed as an Historic Place in the US Department of the Interior's National Register.

Disrupt IT

Thank you Norm.  The photos

Thank you Norm.  The photos are beautiful and bring back good memories.

LED at NELA Park?

We've had several posts here at realneo about the waste involved in keeping lights on when they are not needed. Spurred by your photos, Norm, I took my roommate (who is from India and is enjoying her first American Christmas) to see the display. We saw it as originally photographed without snow. As I sat there in the car - out for its fist roll in many days - I wondered if the lovely lights were powered by coal burned here or there.

I found this interesting article published by GE on their ecoimaginative lighting: Holiday lights: From festive fuchsia to a bright boogie. It is unclear however if NELA Park is lit with LED lamps or not. Yes, that is my question on the blog there.

Also noticed that Google Finance picked up this post.

GE has plenty of innovation - as they say, "plenty of innovation you don't have to wait for." But waiting is just what Jeff Buster explained they are doing. Or is that stalling? From the history section on CFLs (Jeff had mentioned this.)

The modern CFL was invented by Edward E. Hammer, an engineer with General Electric, in response to the 1973 oil crisis. While it met its design goals, it would have cost GE about US$25 million to build new factories to produce them and the invention was shelved.[5] The design was eventually leaked out and copied by others.[5]

I mentioned to him that GE was buying, had bought a small wind company ( a fact I learned while listening to Dan Janki, CFO of GE Energy speaking in Columbus back in May). He said that GE and other mega corporations purchase smaller innovator's companies in order to sit on the technology. Hmmm...

So as I asked on the GE blog, are the NELA Park lights, LED and if not, why not? The Whitehouse got LED lights for its Christmas tree. Did the Champs Elysee? How about the magnificent displays in Picadilly Circus and Regent's Park, London? And Dublin was decked out, too...

Nollaig Shona Duit Happy Christmas!

Back to that spanish article you posted in September:

Madrid’s Christmas lights consumption is equivalent to what 6,700 houses spend in one month; and Barcelona’s Christmas lights consumption is equivalent to what 940 families spend in one month.

Again, wikipedia has an interesting entry: Christmas Lights which includes this fascinating history of Christmas light displays "Christmas Lights and Community Building".

Although the electric Christmas light would not become commonplace until years after Thomas Edison first created the incandescent light bulb, his invention spelled doom to the candle-lit tree.  In 1879, watching the world’s first truly functional light bulb give off 40 hours of continuous light, Edison knew he would be a rich man.  While Edison is mostly remembered for his scientific genius, he also had a knack for making a buck.

During the 1880 Christmas season, he constructed an eight-mile underground wiring system in order to power a grand light display on the grounds of his Menlo Park factory. Situated along the railroad that passed between Manhattan and Philadelphia, Edison’s light display so enraptured passers-by that one reporter labeled him “the enchanter.”  The light show was a sensationalist bit of self-promotion and part of a bid to gain a contract to power Manhattan with electricity. It was the first time (but hardly the last) that Christmas sentiment was used as a shrewd marketing tool.  In 1900 retail stores began stringing lights in their windows, taking advantage of Edison’s tactics and starting a trend that has lasted until the present day.

 
In 1882, Edison displayed the first electrically-lit Christmas tree in the New York City home of his friend and the Vice President of the Edison Electric Company, Edward Johnson.  The tree sat atop a motorized box that spun it around as eighty red, white and blue lights blinked on and off to the delight of Johnson’s guests.

Powered by an Edison generator in the city, Johnson’s tree soon garnered media attention. 

more...

Another factor in the popularization of Christmas lights during the 1950s was the advent of community-sponsored Christmas decoration competitions.  GE had sponsored such competitions in the late 1920s, but they were not comparable in size and popularity to those of the post war years.  Competitions were often sponsored by a city’s chamber of commerce and judged by city dignitaries.  They encouraged citywide participation, not only by homeowners but by “churches, shops and factory plants” as well.

As a result, Christmas lights illuminated residential,  commercial and industrial landscapes. Competitions were also held between cities, further encouraging widespread light decorating.  In 1956, Orange County, California, held a “40 Miles of Christmas Smiles” competition to encourage a county-wide lighting boom.

Christmas light competitions provided people with a unique opportunity to gain a sense of  participation within their large, impersonal communities. 

This year on my block, since so many homes have been shuttered, foreclosed and are for sale, we set out on Christmas eve with paper lunch bags, sand and small candles and put luminaria at each driveway apron. Carbon emitted? Yes, but just for a little while... Yes, we maintain the tradition of the Christmas tree in our home and we turn on the electric lights on it each night for two weeks. And yes, I love christmas lights and have put them on my house - still do, but last year and this, it is a modest string on LED lights. Is GE doing the same?

GE responds - 51,408 lbs of coal

Holiday Lights at Nela Park - both incandescent and LED

"...lit for 17 hours a day for about 30 days for a total of 71,400 kwh.

Approximately 51,408 pounds of coal were burned during the lighting display."

Lump of coal in NEO's stocking? Not more than usual...

Apparently East Cleveland police were paid by East Cleveland for watching over the display and the display's watchers.

By 1911 GE owned 75% of the

By 1911 GE owned 75% of the National Electric Lamp Company and (by US federal court order) was asked to dissolve the company and do business under its own name. Terry and Tremaine proposed to GE that its lamp operations be relocated from Cleveland to the countryside. They purchased an abandoned vineyard seven miles outside Cleveland and construction began for Nela Park, the very first Industrial Park in the world!