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  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
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  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
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  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.
Mel Fischer

Yesteryear....

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Not a very good quality picture but here are a few early day Carolina Enterprises blow molds from 1968.  Did you know that Carolina Enterprises originally moved to Tarboro NC in 1960?

You will need to download and enlarge the picture to read the text at the bottom.

Mel

Carolina Enterprises 1968 (994H).jpg

Edited by Mel Fischer
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These have been a part of our lives for so long.  It's amazing to think about how many of these are still around today.  This is a great vintage ad!  Thanks Mel

Mel, is that candle the one with the criss-cross pattern?  I can't tell for sure from the pic, but it looks like it has that pattern.  I remember, last March, when Slankard posted about this candle and he found one that looked like it was a mustard yellow color.  His had a very early Empire logo on it.

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

Edited by donna123

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Donna, I remember his post on the candle and just found and reread the thread.  I am not sure if the candle in the newspaper picture is the same but it does look like it could be.  I do have an ad now that is from 1968 and shows that candle, so we now know that it was made at least that early.  What has surprised me in my searches for newspaper ads with blow molds is that I have found no ads between the years 1968 and 1978 with the Empire or Carolina Enterprises name in them.  I have 98 ads from those years that show blow molds we refer to as Empire and 61 of the ads show them as "Judith" or "Judith Novelty" and 37 have no name at all.  Mallory Randall Corporation acquired Carolina Enterprises for $12 million in December 1968 and Judith Novelty Sales was a subsidiary of Mallory Randall at the time, apparently Mallory Randall decided to sell the blow molds under the Judith name during their years of owning Carolina Enterprises.

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15 hours ago, Mel Fischer said:

Not a very good quality picture but here are a few early day Carolina Enterprises blow molds from 1968.  Did you know that Carolina Enterprises originally moved to Tarboro NC in 1960?

You will need to download and enlarge the picture to read the text at the bottom.

Mel

Carolina Enterprises 1968 (994H).jpg

Awesome pic , Thanks for sharing. Im 99.9% sure I have those lamp posts in my garage...not sure where I got them, but im gonna go check. What should I look for? Carolina Ent.?

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7 minutes ago, Mel Fischer said:

Should be Empire with a lower case "e".

Like these? Wow never paid them any attention

20180220_164157.jpg

20180220_164212.jpg

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Your lamp post looks to be from the same time period but it does not look to be the same as the lamp post in the picture.  Look at the length of the candle in the top of the lamp post in the picture and the length of yours.  The candle in yours is shorter.  The one in the picture looks to be like this one but it probably has red trim on the top and not the gold but I can not be sure on that, earlier ones were trimmed in red.  The red trimmed ones can be difficult to find.

Mel

Empire Lamp Post (Front) (43 In) (Text 3).jpg

Empire 1974 Catalog Pages 15 Back Cover (600).jpg

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I will investigate more tomorrow, honestly I have tried to give these 2 lamps away to a few of our seniors in my neighborhood for the past 2 years and they didn't care for them because of their condition. Now I think they deserve a good renovation job and then possibly a new home. I can't for the life of me remember where I got these. 😂

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3 hours ago, Mel Fischer said:

Donna, I remember his post on the candle and just found and reread the thread.  I am not sure if the candle in the newspaper picture is the same but it does look like it could be.  I do have an ad now that is from 1968 and shows that candle, so we now know that it was made at least that early.  What has surprised me in my searches for newspaper ads with blow molds is that I have found no ads between the years 1968 and 1978 with the Empire or Carolina Enterprises name in them.  I have 98 ads from those years that show blow molds we refer to as Empire and 61 of the ads show them as "Judith" or "Judith Novelty" and 37 have no name at all.  Mallory Randall Corporation acquired Carolina Enterprises for $12 million in December 1968 and Judith Novelty Sales was a subsidiary of Mallory Randall at the time, apparently Mallory Randall decided to sell the blow molds under the Judith name during their years of owning Carolina Enterprises.

Mel, It is so confusing to follow the chain of ownership with these companies.   I always thought that Empire was the major company and Carolina and Judith were just off shoots of Empire.  The questionable ads don't surprise me either.

Can you imagine what $12 million in 1968 would be today?

*Just for giggles I used an online calculator and it would have cost $87,265,132.00 in 2018

Edited by donna123

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22 hours ago, Mel Fischer said:

Not a very good quality picture but here are a few early day Carolina Enterprises blow molds from 1968.  Did you know that Carolina Enterprises originally moved to Tarboro NC in 1960?

You will need to download and enlarge the picture to read the text at the bottom.

Mel

Carolina Enterprises 1968 (994H).jpg

Mel, do you have the rest of this article?  It mentions photos of larger Santas "pictured below".  We may have learned two things.  1) If Judith Novelty was a part of Mallory Randall Corporation, and it bought Carolina Enterprises in December, 1968, that means the Pixies marked Judith Novelty 1966 were not Empire products.  2) The oldest Empire products, such as the Nativity above, were not dated.  That dating began in 1968.  Judith Novelty's influence as they dated their Pixie molds?  Are you aware what year Empire was founded?  Also, where was the factory located prior to moving to Tarboro in 1960?  

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Steve, do you have any evidence that Empire/Carolina Enterprises made holiday blow molds before 1968?  I have always thought they did but have no actual printed evidence of that.

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20 hours ago, Mel Fischer said:

Steve, do you have any evidence that Empire/Carolina Enterprises made holiday blow molds before 1968?  I have always thought they did but have no actual printed evidence of that.

Mel, here's an ad from McAlpin's Department Store here in Cincinnati. It appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer December 3, 1967. I printed it out about 20 years ago at a local library.   I've also posted a shot of the entire ad preview page from the archive site Newspapers.com to verify the date.  Looks like most of the non dated pieces we are familiar with are listed in the ad.  Below is  the link to the dated search I did as well as a link to a more general search using the phrase from the ad:  "outdoor illumined".  If you scroll through that list, you can see there are more McAlpin's ads for Christmas blow molds as early as 1963 and 1964.  I don't have a subscription to the site yet so I can only see the small preview photos and can't determine who made them.  There is a 7 day free trial.  I plan to try that when I have more time to explore the papers.

 https://www.newspapers.com/search/#lnd=1&ymd=1967-12-03&query=outdoor+illuminated&t=844&oquery=outdoor+illuminated++december+3%2C+1967 

https://www.newspapers.com/search/#lnd=1&query=outdoor+illuminated&offset=5&t=844

MCALPINS 1967.jpg

MCALPINS 1967 2.jpg

Here's a 1962 JCP ad with blowmolds...  https://www.newspapers.com/image/101656472/?terms=outdoor%2Billuminated

 

Edited by Empire Fanatic

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Steve, thanks for the links, I now have those ads.  The ones in the JC Penney ad are Beco.  I completely forgot that I do have some pages that confirm Empire/Carolina Enterprises before 1968, some are shown in the NOMA Lites Canada 1965 & 1967  catalogs.

Noma 1965 Catalog 0-- (1250).jpg

Noma 1967 Catalog 015s.jpg

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Mel, you need to think about making a real book on blowmolds.  You, and many others on here, have a great collection of historical documents coupled with knowledge.  I wish I had the time I used to so I could dig this deep too.  Thanks for sharing.

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Brian, you are not the first to suggest that but I wouldn't know where to start on making a book,

Mel

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The December 2, 1967 McAlpin's newspaper Ad with Empire / Carolina Enterprises blow molds.

Mel

 

Cincinnati Enquirer (1967-12-03) (McAlpins Ad) (1000).jpg

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Mel, rather than the whole book writing process, would it be easier to have a website with just the blow mold history...facts, pictures, etc.?  

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17 minutes ago, slankard said:

Mel, rather than the whole book writing process, would it be easier to have a website with just the blow mold history...facts, pictures, etc.?  

Same problem, I know nothing about setting up a website and at my age now am not sure I am really interested in learning how.  I spend most of my computer time doing my research on the blow molds and learning how to set up and maintain a website would take time away from my research.

I understand Carrie Sansing of Blow Mold Nation is writing a book on blow molds, maybe she will have some of the information in her book when it comes out.

Mel

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17 hours ago, Mel Fischer said:

The December 2, 1967 McAlpin's newspaper Ad with Empire / Carolina Enterprises blow molds.

Mel

 

Cincinnati Enquirer (1967-12-03) (McAlpins Ad) (1000).jpg

Did you happen to check out their ads from 1963, 1964, and 1965 to see who the MFG was?    Walgreen's had blow molds in 1966.......https://www.newspapers.com/image/104277999/?terms=outdoor%2Billuminated

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On 2/20/2018 at 8:50 PM, Empire Fanatic said:

Mel, do you have the rest of this article?  It mentions photos of larger Santas "pictured below".  We may have learned two things.  1) If Judith Novelty was a part of Mallory Randall Corporation, and it bought Carolina Enterprises in December, 1968, that means the Pixies marked Judith Novelty 1966 were not Empire products.  2) The oldest Empire products, such as the Nativity above, were not dated.  That dating began in 1968.  Judith Novelty's influence as they dated their Pixie molds?  Are you aware what year Empire was founded?  Also, where was the factory located prior to moving to Tarboro in 1960?  

Steve, I have always wondered if Judith Novelty might have contracted with Carolina Enterprises/Empire to make those pixies in their name for them but to date have not found any information on the pixies even with doing extensive searches in the years 1965-1967.  Also, I have wondered if Empire was never more then the sales arm of Carolina Enterprises up until the late 70's when Carolina Enterprises changed their name to Empire of Carolina.

Carolina Enterprises originated in New York City in 1939 as a manufacturer of illuminated dental tubes with four employees.

I was wrong in saying in the original post that they moved to Tarboro in 1960, they moved into their new building in 1960.  They actually conducted pilot operations in rented facilities in Tarboro in 1959.  When they moved into their new 120,000 sq. ft. facilities in early 1960 they maintained their headquarters in New York City.

Mel

3 minutes ago, Empire Fanatic said:

Did you happen to check out their ads from 1963, 1964, and 1965 to see who the MFG was?    Walgreen's had blow molds in 1966.......https://www.newspapers.com/image/104277999/?terms=outdoor%2Billuminated

Yes, I have the 1966 Walgreen's ad and the 1963 and 1964 McAlpin's ads all appear to be Beco blow molds and the 1965 ad appears to be MSL blow molds made from the Beco molds.  The 1966 Walgreen's ad has Beco blow molds in it.

Mel

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