Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The History of Santa Claus




The Bridgewater Public Library will host regional historian and author Gerald Beals on Tuesday, December 10th at 7:00 p.m. for a lecture on “The History of Santa Claus”. Mr. Beals, a retired high school teacher, lives in Easton and is known for his volunteer service at the Brockton Historical Society and at the Old Bridgewater Historical Society.
 

Mr. Beals will present an historical overview of the origin of Santa Claus. He will detail the fascinating story of how the world's first department store Santa Claus originated in North Bridgewater, now Brockton, in 1890. It is the tale of regional shopkeeper, James Edgar, who created and perfected the image and delightful role of the world’s first department store Santa, in Victorian Brockton.

James Edgar was famous for wearing costumes on public occasions, and in 1890 he began dressing up as Santa Claus for Christmas and greeting customers with a “ho, ho, ho” while they were shopping at his Main Street department store. He distributed small gifts and coins to children, and was copied by other department stores as time went by.

Mr. Beals’ talk will be held in the Flora T. Little Meeting Room on the lower level of the library, which is accessible by elevator. Parking is available in back of the library, located at 15 South Street.

“The History of Santa Claus” is funded by the Friends of the Bridgewater Public Library.

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