Note: This is an archive of "Papa" Ted Althof's online tribute to cardboard Christmas "putz" houses and their history. At Ted's request, this archive was established in early 2012. Except for critical updates and announcements, it will remain exactly as Ted left it in October, 2012.
For more information, please scroll to the bottom of the page.

Note from Editor: When "Papa" Ted asked us to maintain an archive of his site, his first priority was that the information he had made available would stay available. On the other hand, some things change, such as links to other people's pages. Several of the links on this page have moved in the last few months, and one went away. Fortunately, we have been able to reconstruct the page that went away and relink to the new addresses of the other sites.

Keeping Ted's resources available has been a team effort, so we also took the liberty of moving the links that belong to Ted's strongest supporters to the top of the page. Please use the Contact Page if you have any questions or concerns.

Great Links!
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I welcome links with other sites of genuine CONTENT - of educational relevance and interest to the subject, mainly - Christmas! Some selling is all right, but you must have worthwhile and entertaining content. The purely self-serving commercial "shopping carts" will not be posted.
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..back to-

Christmas trees bar graphic> - - The internet's largest collection of resources for collecting, restoring, and building cardboard Christmas "putz" houses. Includes a Discussion Forum whether folks post photos, ask questions, and generally encourage and inform each other.

Big Indoor Trains: This is a wonderful site for those who love putzes AND trains. This link takes you directly to Paul's exposition on "Glitterhouses," and his references to both my own and Antoinette Stockenberg's sites, but look around in there. Lots and lots of happy stuff!

Howard Lamey's Houses and kits: ...Howard custom makes his own special styles of houses to order, even offers kits and and plans and plenty of tips so that you can make your own.

ANTOINETTE'S HOME PAGE:... Antoinette Stockenberg keeps all her fabulous mantel-putz interactive panoramas up full time the year 'round, now - this year and all years past,with her captivating stories and fantasies about them. You could spend hours here.

The Lutheran Home Traditional Putz:.. - - The Lutheran Home in Topton, PA has had a fabulous putz tradition since the 1940s, and the full story is here. You will love this!

LOVETOKNOW -Victorian Antique Christmas Houses: - A 2008 interview with "Papa" Ted Althof.

Family Christmas Online: - An online collection of Christmas traditions, stories, songs, craft resources, and more.

You-Tube Christmas Layout Videos: ... My brother Jim set me up with a You-Tube page and has filled it with dozens of amazing videos of putzes and train layouts that you will enjoy. Hours of fun and amazement to be had here. Expect this to be updated frequently!
Be sure to click on all the various Play Lists, because there is much much more than shows up on the initial page that you will see.
Most of these layouts are made of modern stuff - ceramic houses and trains you can buy in a store today, but many are truly astounding, and there is plenty of action for the kids! - live trains running, animated figures and the like.
It all goes to show that the art and instinct of putzing has never died out.

The Antique Christmas Lights Museum:... - - Finest photo-history of Christmas lights on line. Between 2001 and 2010, bothers Bill and George Nelson documented the history of Christmas tree lighting, including the companies, the patents, and even some of the advertising claims. Sadly, we have now lost both Bill and George, but four different versions of their web site have now been restored.

Interview with GEORGE NELSON:(author of above website)...

Belgian Christmas Collection Website:..."MerryThe." lives in a small town near Antwerp and is building a delightful website around her personal collection. There are things of interest to all Christmas collectors to be seen here - things we Americans do not see - but in particular to antique light collectors. She has variations on American bubble lights made for the European export market that do not turn up, here, for example, as well as lights we simply never saw before. Well worth a quick trip to Belgium!

The Tinplate Times: - - The Tinplate Times is a non-profit, online magazine about the old-style trains. As Jim Kelly describes it: "Tinplate Times is an online resource focusing on tinplate toy trains and the people who collect and operate them."

The Buhl Planetarium Miniature Railroad and Village: - - Now called the "Carnegie/Buhl Science Center Miniature Railroad and Village" - has been an indispensable Holiday tradition around Pittsburgh for over half a century. Begun as a home putz in the 1940s, it has grown into a behemoth of scenes and animated figures - now on display almost the year 'round. Click on, come in and have a look around. The whole history is here. Tons of pictures, too! The ultimate putz - so popular it saved the Buhl Planetarium and built the succeeding Science Center.

The Collector's Weekly - - The Collector's Weekly is an online collectibles newsletter of all categories and marvelous link to all kinds of other terrific collectibles sites (Check out their website "Hall of Fame!")- and collected accesses to hobby and craft material sites as well. It's a "Grand Central Station" for us all.

Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum:...Located in Wheeling, West Virginia, the museum showcases thousands of toys, trains and dolls in a beautifully restored Victorian schoolhouse! Guided tours, several operating train layouts, interactive displays, a unique giftshop, and more! Fully handicapped accessible, and fun for the entire family!

AUTOLUMINATION:... - - I normally don't put commercial-only links on, but this one is special. Here you can get every type of old (and new) miniature train bulb and even the new LEDs. I have heard from many of you who've had problems securing these things for your putz applications. The prices are right, the shipping charges reasonable.

Wishbook Web:... - - Nothing matches the nostalgia of going through an oldSears or Ward's or Spiegel Christmas Wishbook from your childhood days. Here is an ever growing collection of these rare old catalogs on a website where you can do just that.... page after page after page. Some serious downloading time may be involved, but that's all it will cost you - just the time.

Old Newark Memories: ...An interesting history site about Downtown Newark's dimestores and departments stores. -Vintage Christmas: ... And thousands more links to old vintage antiques online. Find antique dealers, appraisers, collectors, clubs and more A vast directory!

Santa Land! - - A great site chock full of stories, graphics, cards and all kinds of links to other Christmas goodies. First Christmas site on the web, since 1991.

The ANTIQUES ALMANAC, by Bob Brooke: - - A site full of antiques, including Christmas - and links to other goodies.

Big Christmas Trains: For folks who wonder what kind of trains to use with their towns, or who are looking for ideas for displaying or accessorizing their villages.

Tacky Christmas Yards Police: -
- - This stuff is hilarious, but it's kinda sad, too.

For information about this site, please contact us at:

Copyright 2000-2012 Theodore H. Althof,Jr.Except where noted, the contents of this website and all its pages and submissions therein contained are the intellectual property of Theodore H.Althof,Jr. All rights are reserved. (Background musical selections are,of course, excepted.)

Note: This archive was set up at Ted's request in early 2012, and, except for critical updates and
announcements, will remain exactly as Ted left it in October, 2012.
The archive is kept online with the help of volunteers from:

Visit the FamilyChristmasOnline site for Christmas music, stories, craft resources and much more.
Visit the OldChristmasTreeLights site for the history of Christmas tree lighting, including Bubble Lights and more.
Visit our collection of resources for collecting, restoring, and making your own cardboard Christmas houses.
Visit Howard Lamey's glitterhouse gallery, with free project plans, graphics, and instructions.
Check out  a very active, quality craft and collectibles blog (with local news of Croton NY).
Resources for making seasonal villages and model railroads for O, S, and On30 model railroading