Vintage Photographs From 1912 Show Nation's First Public Christmas Tree in Madison Square Park

On December 21st, 1912, the Nation's first public Christmas Tree display was setup in Madison Square Park, complete with 2,300 colored electric lights and a giant illuminated star on top. Our friends at 6sqft dug up these photos and tell the tale.

The idea came for the tree came from Emilie D. Lee Herreshoff, the 49-year-old wife of a prominent chemical scientist. After witnessing a rise in social causes related to the city’s poor, she proposed the tree as a way to allow everyone, especially those who couldn’t afford a tree of their own, to participate in a lighting. The Mayor eventually approved the plan, and the Adirondack Club donated the tree, with transportation costs covered by an anonymous railroad worker.

Check out the full article for more on the Nation's first public Christmas tree display, here at Madison Square Park in 1912.

via 6sqft

Matt Coneybeare

Matt Coneybeare

Editor in Chief

Matt enjoys exploring the City's with his partner and son. He is an avid marathon runner, and spends most of his time eating, running, and working on cool stuff.

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