Dating back 135 years, it was at the Savoy Theatre in London that the term 'fairy lights' was first coined.
Opened in 1881, the Savoy was the first public building in the world to be lit entirely by electricity, fitted out with 1,200 incandescent light bulbs created by North East inventor Sir Joseph Swan.
North East pioneer and father of the fairy light Sir Joseph Swan was born on 31st October 1828 in Sunderland. He was a physicist, chemist and pioneer of the first incandescent light bulb. He was also the first person in the world to use electric lights in buildings. The first private residence to be fully electrically lit by Swan was Lord Armstrong’s home at Cragside, Northumberland, now owned by the National Trust.