The way Erwin Perzy’s family tells it, if Thomas Edison had designed a better light bulb, Perzy would never have invented the snow globe. Back in 1900, Erwin Perzy I was working in Vienna as a fine instruments mechanic when a surgeon came to him with a problem. Although the surgeon had electric light bulbs installed in his operating theater, the newly invented product didn’t cast great light. He wanted to know if Perzy could improve on the dim bulbs and make them brighter. So he got to work. As Perzy hunted for inspiration, he noticed that shoemakers had stumbled into an interesting trick: By filling glass globes with water and placing them in front of candles, they created tiny spotlights in their shops.
Following in the style of Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz’s realistic and detailed snow globe creations, the Danish architectural firm Ja-Ja made a special series of snow globes to celebrate Christmas. These creations show what the “Nisse” (a small Scandinavian mythological creature that helps around the house) are up to in modern times. This particular globe shows a Nisse working away on a rooftop garden just out of sight of us silly humans. Additional info at custom snowglobes.
A few years later, a Viennese man Edwin Perzy developed the same idea when researching a way to improve operating room lights. A glass globe filled with water creates a magnifying lens by increasing refraction. To enhance the reflected light, Perzy put ground glass in the water. When it quickly sank, he tried semolina which floated slowly to the bottom of the globe. It did nothing to improve the light quality, but the snowfall inspired him to make his first snow globe: a reproduction of a Viennese shrine in a glass bulb with water, magnesium powder and rock. The snow domes were exquisitely and painstakingly produced and are still in production today where they make around 200,000 a year outside of Vienna.
Many Americans decorated their trees with imported ornaments up until World War II. Before World War II, many ornaments Americans purchased were imported from Germany. But once World War II started, Corning, an American glass company, started making ornaments out of a light bulb machine. They made 300,000 ornaments a day! The legend behind stockings involves a sweet story about Santa doing something really nice for a poor family. The common legend about Christmas stockings (which has an unknown source and date, according to Smithsonian Magazine) tells a tale of a poor, widowed man who had three young daughters that he worried would never marry due to their lack of wealth. St. Nick overheard people chatting about this family, so he slid down the man’s chimney and placed gold coins in the girls’ clean stockings that were hanging to dry by the fireplace. Source: https://www.qstomize.com/collections/custom-snow-globe.