-- A Little History --

Today I thought I'd share one of my favorite holiday ornaments.  I got it last year from my mother-in-law.  It was something I heard about on the radio during a drive home one time and just had to have one. 

Back Story
There used to be a department store in Fort Wayne, Wolf & Dessauer, that was not only known for it's great customer service, but also it's wonderfully elaborate window displays and awe inspiring Christmas lights.  Apparently people from all over northeast Indiana would travel to Fort Wayne to see these beautiful displays and lights.  Most who have seen the displays said they were beyond compare...some were even mechanical.  And  many people thought the displays at W&Ds were far better than those in New York or Chicago.

  This amazes me...

Around 1937, G. Irving Latz, himself, drew the first sketches of the famous Santa display that hung on the side of the Calhoun Street building. Brinkman Signs were the ones who constructed the famous displays. According to our Fort Wayne local newspaper, the Journal Gazette, it was the artist at Brinkman's, Isabel Wilkinson Parker who actually designed the Santa and Reindeer display and it was modeled after a scene given to her by the owner of Wolf & Dessauer's, G. Irving Latz Sr. 

Many will agree that the holiday season doesn't truly being until the Santa display has been lit up in Fort Wayne!

And although Santa hung for many years on the side of the department store building there were a few years that it wasn't lit.  The reason for this was two fold - (1) during World War II they were told to keep the lights out to reduce the chance of enemy planes being able to spot the city easily because materials were manufactured for the war in Fort Wayne and (2) it was also a way to conserve energy during the war. 

Last year, the Original Santa display was replaced with LED lights and the lights from the original display were sold with all proceeds going to Easter Seals.  Well, of course with this being such a huge memory that I have, I had to have a part of this history.  And I'm so glad that I got one!  It's one of my favorite ornaments and I'll always remember the Santa display no matter where I am! 

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