Memories Of Bubble Lights

Thursday, December 27th 2007, 7:10 pm
By: News On 6

Anyone remember bubble lights? The News On 6’s Rick Wells does from when he was a kid. His aunt had an entire tree decorated with them. He reports a Tulsa man also has a bubble light collection.

Scott Johnson has hundreds of the bubble lights.

"I got about 600 up, I think," said Scott Johnson of his bubble lights.

Almost all of his lights are fascinating bubble lights, but there are different kinds.

“This one here is called a shooting star. The advertising on the box said watch them rise and watch them fall,” said Scott Johnson.

The bubble lights were filled with two different kinds of liquid, one heavier than the other to help the bubbles circulate in the tube.

“As it heats up it expands the gas and lifts just like a hot air balloon. When it cools it goes back down,” said collector Scott Johnson.

There are some that are fast bubbling lights Johnson says they are the most common.

“These are called Nomas. They made them for about 25 years. At peak production, I think, they made 80 million a year,” said Scott Johnson.

Bubble lights first showed up in the United States after World War II. They were very popular during the 1950s, 1960s and into the 1970s before mini lights took over.

The tubes are most often filled with methylene chloride which has a low boiling point, so the heat from a small bulb in the base can get the bubbles going.

“When I started, I was gonna quit at one of those nine light stands of the real rare oils and I've got over 200 now,” said collector Scott Johnson.

Scott tries to get all his lights up by early December. He leaves them up until he starts feeling guilty that he still has Christmas lights up, and then he takes them down.

Watch the video: The Magic Of Bubble Lights