Sunday, December 21, 2014

Royal Lighted Village Catalogue No. 203V - Pt 1 Set Contents

We're goin' to have a couple of concurrent series going on here: the Advent calendars, and the Royal Lighted Village (it's nice to end the year featuring yet another vintage cardboard village). Royal Brand lights were very popular from at least the 1930s onward as Christmas light manufacturers and from here I think I'll direct you to  the Old Christmas Tree Lights website which will explain the company history much better. 

What does one do with Christmas tree lights when they are no longer in season? Well, stick 'em inside a cardboard village and sell 'em during the remainder of the year that's what. So, while the village itself isn't decorated for the Christmas season, the lights themselves have a Yuletide heritage. I believe this set is from the 1950s - could be earlier but we'll stick with '50s for the time being. The buildings themselves are sized to fit right alongside Built-Rite homes as seen in a couple comparison photos. 

When I got the set it was soon apparent that the buildings had never been assembled! The box was a bit rough but it appears as if it was just tossed around for the past 60 years or so and never used and through the years, differences in temperature and humidity had taken its toll. While there is no obvious water damage, it's quite clear that the cardboard has seen too many fluctuations in ambient conditions. Today the cardboard is very dry and brittle in places. I would never put the original lights inside one of these!! All but one of the buildings is of one-piece construction almost forming a complete box and some of the flaps which serve as the roofs were either cut too large to fit or the material has shrunk a tad. 

The complete set consists of eight buildings and a string of eight colored incandescent bulbs with fabric wound cord. The buildings are:

1 Royalleville Railroad Station
2 Hotel Royale
3 Royal Theatre
4 Royalleville Fire Department
5 House
6 Village Grocery Store Inc
7 Garage
8 Municiple Airport

(L) Royal Village House (R) Built-Rite House

(L) Royal Village Garage (M) Built-Rite Fire Station (R) Royal Village Theater

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