Note: This is an archive of "Papa" Ted Althof's online tribute to cardboard Christmas "putz" houses and their history. At Ted's request, this archive was established in early 2012. Except for critical updates and announcements, it will remain as Ted left it in October, 2012.
For more information, please scroll to the bottom of the page.

Xmas holly garland graphic
Pre 1920

Large-scale blowups will not be available for all of these, but are included
wherever they were to be had.
1888 Christmas photo
A "Stereopticon" slide-card from 1889. 3-D!

vintage Christmas stereopticon slide
Another Stereopticon card from the 1890s, showing it's age.

1897 Christmas stereopticon slide
1897 - "Early Christmas" - Stereopticon.

Christmas tree 1900 Wright Bothers

Christmas 1900 - Home of Wilbur and Orville Wright.

"Brown paper packages,
tied up with strings ..."


Ives toy train, 1900
A boy with his wind-up Ives train ca. 1900.

Christmas dawing 1902

1902 - a hand drawn picture of a putz. This sems to have been drawn from a real-life model. German style houses and animals pre- WW I.

vintage Santa photo 1902
Broadway 1902: It seems the Volunteers of America had the drop on the Salvation Army with the sidewalk-Santa thing.

1906 Santa Stereopticon

1906: - "Santa's Workshop,"
- from still another Stereopticon card.
When it comes to Christmas photos of this early period, we seem to turn up mostly these old parlor-entertainment stereos more than anything else, and while charming and interesting - they are nonetheless staged. This industry must have created lots of welcome little side-jobs for hungry actors in it's heyday. Still, we can get an authentic idea of dress and toys and the general appearance of those long-gone times. Many many fascinating things in view, here.

1909 Christmas photo
Christmas 1909: Buffalo, New York. Real candles on that tree!

Christmas 1913 Madison Square New York
New York - Madison Square - 1913. Famous photo by G.G.Bain - hand-tinted.

Christmas orphans New York 1914
Christmas at a children's lodging house - New York - 1914.

Christmas tree for horses
December, 1918: "Free Cristmas Dinner for Horses" Washington, D.C.

1919 Christmas crystal 

1919 -
Wow! A new crystal set! There were no commercial broadcasting stations in 1919. KDKA in Pittsburgh was the first in 1921 and even then was not on a regular schedule. They would put ads in the paper to tell you when to listen. About all you could get in these days was naval morse code wireless and ham radio geeks, but it was such a wonder! And expensive! That very simple set with half a dozen parts in it cost as much
- adjusted for inflation -
as a wide-screen HD-TV today.
A handsome present!


Christmas tree and family 1913
The Dickey family - 1913.

1913 Christmas parade
1913: You don't suppose the Dickeys missed the "Big Parade?"
That's a Stanley "Steamer" following the big attraction.

Christmas tree and family 1915
The Dickeys in 1915.

World War I Christmas photo
A Christmas on the World War I home front - 1917

Brooklyn trollies 1906
The Brooklyn trolley end-of-line turnaround. 1906. Vintage train collectors feast your eyes. Are those trollies not excellent copies of those rare, very early Lionel early standard gauge models we so covet? And doesn't this whole thing just seem like a model layout? And look at that track! - third rail right in the middle - just like the Lionel track. That Lionel third-rail has always been in contention. I remember asking my dad about it as a kid. He said that some big trains used to have it. But I never saw any - until now.

Macy Christmas store window 1915
Macy's New York - 1915. The toy window. Hey, guys - this is the girls' window!

Christmas tree line graphic
CHRISTMASES of the 1920s

CHRISTMASES of the 1930s


Christmas holly bar graphic


Christmas trees bar graphic

For information about this site, please contact us at:

Copyright 2000-2012 Theodore H. Althof,Jr.Except where noted, the contents of this website and all it's pages and submissions therein contained are the intellectual property of Theodore H.Althof,Jr. All rights are reserved. (Background musical selections are,of course, excepted.)

This archive was set up at Ted's request in early 2012, and, except for critical updates and
announcements, will remain as Ted left it in October, 2012.
The archive is kept online with the help of volunteers from the following affiliated sites and resources:
- Christmas Memories and Collectibles -
Visit the FamilyChristmasOnline site. Visit our collection of resources for collecting, restoring, and making your own cardboard Christmas houses. Return to the OldChristmasTreeLights Welcome page Visit Howard Lamey's glitterhouse gallery, with free project plans, graphics, and instructions. Visit Papa Ted Althof's extensive history and collection of putz houses, the largest and most complete such resource on the Internet. Craft and collectibles blog with local news of Croton NY.
- Family Activities and Crafts -
Click to see reviews of our favorite family-friendly Christmas movies. Free, Family-Friendly Christmas Stories Decorate your tree the old-fashioned way with these kid-friendly projects. Free plans and instructions for starting a hobby building vintage-style cardboard Christmas houses. Free building projects for your vintage railroad or Christmas village. Click to find free, family-friendly Christmas poems and - in some cases - their stories.
- Trains and Hobbies -
Visit the Internet's largest resource on choosing and displaying Christmas trains. Visit Lionel Trains. Click to see Thomas Kinkaded-inspired Holiday Trains and Villages.
Learn about backyard railroading with Family Garden Trains
Click to see HO scale trains with your favorite team's colors.
Resources for O gauge and On30 model railroading
- Music -
Carols of many countries, including music, lyrics, and the story behind the songs Wax recordings from the early 1900s, mostly collected by George Nelson.  Download them all for a 'period' album.
Best-loved railroad songs and the stories behind them.
Heartland-inspired music, history, and acoustic instrument tips. Own a guitar, banjo, or mandolin?  Want to play an instrument?  Tips to save you money and time, and keep your instrument playable.
The struggles and influences of early Jesus Musicians and others who laid the groundwork for the Christian music and worship that is part of our lives today.