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The Joy of Collecting Harold Gale Santas for Christmas

Updated on December 15, 2016
The first year for production of the smaller made for the consumers Santa's was 1957. The 15 inch Santa Claus made in 1957 was the first item Harold Gale ever aimed at Christmas shoppers, rather than department store displays that he made.
The first year for production of the smaller made for the consumers Santa's was 1957. The 15 inch Santa Claus made in 1957 was the first item Harold Gale ever aimed at Christmas shoppers, rather than department store displays that he made.

Collecting Harold Gale Santas Gets You Into the Christmas Spirit

Collecting Harold Gale Santas is a fun way to get into the Christmas Spirit. Mr. Harold Gale began making department store display Santas around 1946 at his home; his wife would help him, and they would stay up late at night working on these beautiful creations after their children went to bed. Most of the homemade Santas were made in the early years. Harold & Viola Gale put everything they had into starting their at home workshop, bending wire frames, and making Santa suits in their apartment. They risked all their savings to start the company; the Gales had about $3,000 to start the Harold Gale Santa Company. Soon the volume of sells grew, and with the money they made, they built a small Santa factory and developed their line of Santa Clauses over a 10 year period. They held costs down so that prices never had to be raised on any of their Santas. Soon, they had a 3,000 square foot factory with 35 to 49 employees turning rolls of rich velvet and Du Pont supplies special [neoprene] rubber into beautiful Santas. The business grew significantly in the early 1960s and sadly ceased production around 1988, with problems along the way because unfortunately Mr. Gale had alcohol issues. The Gales used only the finest materials with lots of hand-work in the assembling process. The larger animated Santa figures were run by well-made Brevel motors, which are very strong and often need only some lubrication to bring them back to life.

By 1960, All the Major Stores Carried Harold Gale Santas

At one time, all the department stores and gift shops carried a full line of Harold Gale Santa Clauses. They came in many sizes and colors. The early 1960s saw the greatest growth for the company. Soon there were golden-suit Santas, green-suit Santas, and even pink-suit Santas. Let us not forget the golden-belly Santas and Mrs. Clause she came on board in 1959. It was a magical era with lots of white boots and white belts going around fat little belly’s. Needless to say, many new Santa faces were also added to the lineup. I remember even the local drug store had them in their window display and for sale behind the counter with the silver pom pom Christmas trees from the Star Spangle Aluminum Company. Everything was American-made, except the Knee-hugger Elves and the small plastic reindeers, they were made in Japan. The small plastic nativity scenes were made in Hong Kong. The big expensive ones were made in Italy.

An Early Department Store Display Santa

Collecting Harold Gale Santa's is a way to get into the Christmas Spirit. Mr. Harold Gale began making Department Store Display Santa's around 1946 at his home, his wife would help him, and they would stay up late at night working on their Santa's.
Collecting Harold Gale Santa's is a way to get into the Christmas Spirit. Mr. Harold Gale began making Department Store Display Santa's around 1946 at his home, his wife would help him, and they would stay up late at night working on their Santa's.

Harold Gale Started Out Small and Santa Got Big

The first year for production of the smaller, made-for-the-consumer Santas was 1957. The 15 inch Santa Claus made in 1957 was the first item Harold Gale ever aimed at Christmas shoppers, rather than department store displays that he made. The smaller 15 inch Santa dressed in red satin with white go-go boots and a white belt is today one of the most widely listed Santas for sale on eBay. And amazingly seems to have been the most successful Santa in the Harold Gale line of products. At first these smaller Santas were sold at Sears and Roebuck, and as bonuses or awards for many items, including Stanley Home Products, Parker Pens, 7 Up, Teleflora, & Knox Hats. But by 1963, most department and gift stores were carrying them in their Christmas decorations departments during the holidays, and they were hard to keep on the shelf. Remarkably in the year 1960, Harold Gale was producing over 100,000 Santas, from the large, department-store size, to the smaller made for consumers. The number of the smaller Santas that are seen on eBay suggests volume got bigger every year throughout the 1960s, with the mid 1960s being the best years for the company.

Grantley with One of his Harold Gale Santa's from the 1960s

The smaller 15 inch Santa dressed in red satin with white go-go boots and a white belt is today one of the most widely listed Santa for sale on eBay. These were the first Santa's made for the general public to buy for their home displays made by Gale
The smaller 15 inch Santa dressed in red satin with white go-go boots and a white belt is today one of the most widely listed Santa for sale on eBay. These were the first Santa's made for the general public to buy for their home displays made by Gale

Fabulous 1963 Vintage, Pink Santa Claus

Fabulous 1963, Vintage Pink, Harold Gale Santa Claus. He stands an amazing 14 Inches tall, this is a real rare one to find and is valuable in pristine condition.
Fabulous 1963, Vintage Pink, Harold Gale Santa Claus. He stands an amazing 14 Inches tall, this is a real rare one to find and is valuable in pristine condition.

Hand-made Faces

Harald Gale and his Wife hand Made the Faces on Santa back in the early days, and this 1963 pink Santa shows the attention to detail that Harold put into each Santa.
Harald Gale and his Wife hand Made the Faces on Santa back in the early days, and this 1963 pink Santa shows the attention to detail that Harold put into each Santa.

Santas, Knee-hugger Elfs, & a Firestone Christmas LP

Red 1963 Velvet Santa and His Cardboard Chimney

For Xmas 1963 Red Velvet Harold Gale Santa and his Cardboard Chimney. This awesome vintage Harold Gale Santa with Red Velvet Suit and Cardboard Chimney The chimney 14¼" high and 7" high. Santa is 14" high.
For Xmas 1963 Red Velvet Harold Gale Santa and his Cardboard Chimney. This awesome vintage Harold Gale Santa with Red Velvet Suit and Cardboard Chimney The chimney 14¼" high and 7" high. Santa is 14" high.
For the Christmas holidays in 1963 the Harold Gale Santa  came with his own Cardboard Chimney for your holiday display. What a wonderful way to get into the season with this as a center piece of your holiday decorations.
For the Christmas holidays in 1963 the Harold Gale Santa came with his own Cardboard Chimney for your holiday display. What a wonderful way to get into the season with this as a center piece of your holiday decorations.

A Vintage, Rare Design, 10-Inch Santa Claus

Here is a Vintage Rare Design Ten Inch Harold Gale Santa Claus; He is in over all good condition. Harold Gale began making display Santa’s around 1946 at his home. His business continued to around 1987. Harold used only the finest materials with lo
Here is a Vintage Rare Design Ten Inch Harold Gale Santa Claus; He is in over all good condition. Harold Gale began making display Santa’s around 1946 at his home. His business continued to around 1987. Harold used only the finest materials with lo

The Small and Rare 1957 Catalog Santa

The photo above is of the rare small Santa. These were the first home-display products made by Harold Gale and seem to have been the most successful Santa in their line. They measured around ten inches tall. And four and a half inches wide, and thirteen and a half round.

Firestone Christmas Records

A 1948 Window Display Santa, Stands 66 Inches Tall

Hand made by Harold in 1948 for a department store display this  Harold Gale Santa Measures 66 Inches tall. He probably stood behind a bunch of toys.
Hand made by Harold in 1948 for a department store display this Harold Gale Santa Measures 66 Inches tall. He probably stood behind a bunch of toys.

Harold Gale Made His Santas Out of Top-quality Materials

Harold Gale made his Santa's out of top quality materials that would have been handmade out of his own workshop and very much elf-approved by the real Santa. The big window display Santas of the 1940s were made to stand the test of time. Heavy, well-made body structures that weigh approximately 40 pounds or more ensured that they would last. Generally, the legs are wooden with metal joints covered with stuffing and felt, the body would be fiberglass or rubber, and the face is painted rubber or fiberglass. The Santa suit would have angel-hair-like stuffing or fine grade cotton.

Motorized mechanisms were placed where the real Santas heart would be, and the mechanisms keep him moving and functional. Many today work as well as the day they were made back in the 1940s. These motors keep the Santas moving correctly. The linkage to this motor goes to one of the arms that raises it up and down to simulate the wave, or there are two gears one in each arm lifting him up and down an artificial chimney in the window display. Generally, these mechanisms work forever like the well-made clocks of European town squares in Germany and Switzerland.

A Cheerful Little Santa Claus From the Late 1950s

Red Velvet Suit, trimmed in plush. Original white vinyl belt. Woolly beard, mustache, and eyebrows. Hand Painted Face. Cheerful expression. Wearing original white boots. Standing approximately 16" tall to tip of cap.
Red Velvet Suit, trimmed in plush. Original white vinyl belt. Woolly beard, mustache, and eyebrows. Hand Painted Face. Cheerful expression. Wearing original white boots. Standing approximately 16" tall to tip of cap.

Santa Claus Store Window Display

Gold Bellied Santa

This vintage Santa measures about 14 inches tall. He is in his red velvet suit, with white trim, belt and boots. He is wearing a gold shirt under his coat.
This vintage Santa measures about 14 inches tall. He is in his red velvet suit, with white trim, belt and boots. He is wearing a gold shirt under his coat.

Early 1960s Santa

Harold & Viola Gale put everything they had into starting their at home workshop, bending wire frames, and making Santa suits in their apartment. They risked all their savings to start the company.
Harold & Viola Gale put everything they had into starting their at home workshop, bending wire frames, and making Santa suits in their apartment. They risked all their savings to start the company.

1960s Pepsi Christmas Santa on Ladder

1960's Pepsi Cola Teem Christmas Santa on Ladder. A Harold Gale Display. The whole Santa Display is 23" inches bye 15" inches bye 10" inches ...
1960's Pepsi Cola Teem Christmas Santa on Ladder. A Harold Gale Display. The whole Santa Display is 23" inches bye 15" inches bye 10" inches ...

The Beautiful 1963 Golden Coat Santa

These remarkable well-made Santa’s came in red, gold, green, white, and pink Santa suits and were very well made.
These remarkable well-made Santa’s came in red, gold, green, white, and pink Santa suits and were very well made.

A Beautiful 1959 Animated Santa Window Display Set

In the video below is a beautiful 1959 animated Santa with treasure chest for the Christmas season. What a wonderful find, they only made about fifteen of these model worldwide. Most of this Santa model came with a treasure chest went to department stores in the northeast and midwestern United States. There is also an awesome Pepsi Santa on a ladder, behind the Santa with the treasure chest.

Automated Santa With Treasure Chest

A Version Made for Pepsi, 50 Inches Tall

Here is a great vintage Harold Gale Store Display Santa in great condition! Stands fifty inches tall and stands on it's own.
Here is a great vintage Harold Gale Store Display Santa in great condition! Stands fifty inches tall and stands on it's own.

Kaufman Foundation 1980 KC Royals 14" Version

This is a wonderful 14 inch Royals Santa Claus, he was made by Harold Gale for the Kaufman Foundation Dinner after the Royals won the world series in 1980. This Santa is in a velvet Suit that is royal blue, & he has a nice KC Royal emblem on his belt
This is a wonderful 14 inch Royals Santa Claus, he was made by Harold Gale for the Kaufman Foundation Dinner after the Royals won the world series in 1980. This Santa is in a velvet Suit that is royal blue, & he has a nice KC Royal emblem on his belt

Gorgeous, rare 40" Santa Claus Store Display Figure

Gorgeous rare 40" Harold Gale Santa Claus Store Display Figure in red velvet suit with white faux fur trim and angel hair beard with patent "leather" boots.  He  is really amazing for age
Gorgeous rare 40" Harold Gale Santa Claus Store Display Figure in red velvet suit with white faux fur trim and angel hair beard with patent "leather" boots. He is really amazing for age

Looks Great in Holiday Displays

Herald Gale Santa's look great in displays. This one is in a golden boot and lights display with lots of holiday holly and greenery for a nice center piece.
Herald Gale Santa's look great in displays. This one is in a golden boot and lights display with lots of holiday holly and greenery for a nice center piece.

Beautiful Powder Pink One That's 15" Tall

Vintage Santa Clauses Dolls are very popular now especially around charismas time, so if you are looking for one you don't want to miss out on this rare PINK one as they are getting very hard to find.
Vintage Santa Clauses Dolls are very popular now especially around charismas time, so if you are looking for one you don't want to miss out on this rare PINK one as they are getting very hard to find.

Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus Mechanical Window Display

, Mrs. Clause pushes Santa clauses chair and rocks it, this is a very nice display. The motor is quiet and runs smooth. The motor was built for commercial use to run for many hours in a display.
, Mrs. Clause pushes Santa clauses chair and rocks it, this is a very nice display. The motor is quiet and runs smooth. The motor was built for commercial use to run for many hours in a display.

Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus in a Rocking Chair

In the photo above is a vintage animated mechanical and electric Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus doll rocking chair. It measures 42" L X 40" H X 21" W. When plugged in, Mrs. Clause pushes Santa Clause's chair and rocks it. The motor is quiet and runs smooth. The motor was built for commercial use to run for many hours in a display.

Eary 1960s Santa Claus, 7 Up Store Display

 This is a nice vintage advertisement Santa and he is 51 inches  tall including the stand ... and the stand is 16 inches square.
This is a nice vintage advertisement Santa and he is 51 inches tall including the stand ... and the stand is 16 inches square.

Vintage 1963 Version

This sweet Harold Gale Santa is with the rare gold glittered vest. He is extra jolly and at 13 inches tall, he is ready for your home Christmas display.
This sweet Harold Gale Santa is with the rare gold glittered vest. He is extra jolly and at 13 inches tall, he is ready for your home Christmas display.

Sweet 1959 White Velvet Suit and White Fur Trim

Vintage Harold Gale Santa Claus in excellent condition with  plastic belt and white molded plastic boots, and a charming ivory wool beard and wonderful face.
Vintage Harold Gale Santa Claus in excellent condition with plastic belt and white molded plastic boots, and a charming ivory wool beard and wonderful face.

Dancing Animated Santa From 1966

He stands an impressive 28 inches tall and can dance the Santa twist, and give you that Merry Christmas feeling.
He stands an impressive 28 inches tall and can dance the Santa twist, and give you that Merry Christmas feeling.

Here Is Paula Mills' Beautiful Santa, standing at 6 1/2 Feet Tall

Here is Paula Mills beautiful Harold Gale Santa he stands about 6 1/2 feet tall or a little more. This Santa is a really great find. He even is mechanical and is in very good MINT condition.  Looks to be from the late 1950s and made for a display.
Here is Paula Mills beautiful Harold Gale Santa he stands about 6 1/2 feet tall or a little more. This Santa is a really great find. He even is mechanical and is in very good MINT condition. Looks to be from the late 1950s and made for a display.

‎Bonnie Groves‎, Howard Gale Santa. Dressed in Satin not Velvet

lBonnie Groves‎ latest Howard Gale Santa. Dressed in Satin not velvet. All original. Bonnie made the stand. He had lost his.
lBonnie Groves‎ latest Howard Gale Santa. Dressed in Satin not velvet. All original. Bonnie made the stand. He had lost his.

Here is Debbie's amazing 1960s Harold Gale Parachute and Santa. The Parachute & Santa Spins by Batteries attached to the Motor

Here is Debbie Ann Symanik Souvigny amazing Harold Gale parachute and Santa, made for a department store window this lovely parachute was on display with its matching Santa for a magical 1960s Christmas diorama.
Here is Debbie Ann Symanik Souvigny amazing Harold Gale parachute and Santa, made for a department store window this lovely parachute was on display with its matching Santa for a magical 1960s Christmas diorama.

Debbie's amazing Happy New Year Santa, Dress in his Tuxedo

Here is another one of Debbie's amazing Santa's this is a Happy New Year Santa, dress in his tuxedo to cerebrate the ringing in of the new year. He is also a custom made Santa for a department store window display.
Here is another one of Debbie's amazing Santa's this is a Happy New Year Santa, dress in his tuxedo to cerebrate the ringing in of the new year. He is also a custom made Santa for a department store window display.

Mr. And Mrs. Claus, Santa stands 16" tall & Mrs. Claus is 14" tall

Yes it is true Harold Gale did make a Mr. And Mrs. Claus for the general public, for their home displays, and they both have good hair. Santa stands 16" tall and Mrs Claus is 14" tall.
Yes it is true Harold Gale did make a Mr. And Mrs. Claus for the general public, for their home displays, and they both have good hair. Santa stands 16" tall and Mrs Claus is 14" tall.

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    • Burke Mathes profile image

      Burke Mathes 2 years ago

      We gave the little 15 inch Santa's away at our Curtis Mathes Showroom when someone bought a stereo, or TV during the Christmas season from 1963 to 1967. They were great with the customers, the folks loved them.

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      Heather Reed 18 months ago

      I was born Christmas day 1979 and Mrs. Kaufman delivered the KC Royals santa to me on Christmas. A few were made in 1979 before the Royals won the world series.

    • Glenn Waters profile image
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      Glenn Waters 18 months ago

      WOW that is amazing, thank you Heather for sharing this about the KC Royals Santa's, times seemed so much more pleasant and cooler back then. Or I am just getting old.

      Glenn :)

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      Diane A 17 months ago

      I have a few old Santas that I have bought that were advertised as Harold Gales. How can I tell if they are? Did he mark them in any way?

    • Glenn Waters profile image
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      Glenn Waters 17 months ago

      Hi Diane, well his Santa's have a special look, such as the ones from the 1960s for home displays have white boots and they have white belts. Folks would call them Santa's go-go boots. The faces are all made from very special latex molds that were hand made by Harold Gale. Harold with the help of his wife would paint their faces with tender details. The bigger Santa's from the 1950s that were used in window displays generally had black belts, and black boots, and complex workings inside to make them move. Some moved up and down out of chimneys, and other waved or held up gift packages. Also in the window displays you sometimes had elf's, Mrs. Claus, and reindeer made by Harold Gale. He came out with a Mrs. Claus in the 1960s for a companion for his smaller Santa for home displays. I hope this helps you in your quest. You can also see all the different models online and compare your Santa's with the ones you see. If you like send me some photos of your Santa's in a message on face book, or friend me, and I can tell you more about your collection. Thank you for your comments,

      Glenn :)

    • profile image

      Tom Lilley 17 months ago

      Glenn,

      My Father worked for Harold Gale for many years prior to his death 12/6/1980. He was a KCAI graduate who spent the later part of his career designing various commercial displays for Harold Gale. ( A 4ft clay statue of the Frito Bandito was sculpted in our basement and later used to make the vulcanized form that produced the displays) He also designed "Snow Babies" that were mechanized to spin around on saucers in winter scenes, but he really loved working on the Santa's. Although he suffered from a disfiguring cancer for last 15 years of his life. His work building Santa's gave us the joy of Christmas year round at our house.

    • Glenn Waters profile image
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      Glenn Waters 17 months ago

      Thank you Tom for sharing this with us, what an amazing piece of the history if this company. Sounds like your Father was a remarkable man, as well as talented. To deal with cancer, and still be-able to bring joy, beauty, and happiness to this world shows great courage and love.

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      Steven Anderson 16 months ago

      Hello Glenn;outstanding article on Harold Gale Santa's!As a small boy in the 50's every store had these Santa displays and some were kind of spooky!I started collecting various Santa's from all over the U S and these Gale's don't come cheap,but buyers beware on ebay,many botched up ones?Some sellers not sure of what they have or the history as YOU WELL STATED?Also,Coca Cola had its unique santa also that had the elf like face but The Harold Gale Santa's are one of a kind!!Happy Holiday's!!!

    • Glenn Waters profile image
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      Glenn Waters 16 months ago

      Thank you Steven for your comment, yes indeed you are correct, you must really know your seller, and what a true Harold Gale Santa looks like. Many made in Japan Santa's from the 1960s era are passed off as genuine Harold Gales, but they are not. The face and other Harold Gale detailing is what you need to look for when purchasing a real Harold Gale Santa. The real ones have a face that is full of expression and the Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas look of the 1950s and 1960s. If the face looks like a Knee Hugger Elf, and the clothing, and beard are shabby, and the boots are glued on, then it is not a true Harold Gale Santa ... Happy Holidays to you :) Glenn :)

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      KIMBERLY LAKE 16 months ago

      Are that Santa's signed anywhere ?

      I just purchased one , which i'm quite sure is a Harold Gale, but not sure.

    • Glenn Waters profile image
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      Glenn Waters 15 months ago

      Hello Kimberly, Harold Gale rarely signed his Santa's unless he was asked to do so by a customer, or for a child in a hospital etc. He was kind of a recluse and shy like may artist folks are sometimes, and he relied heavily on his wife, and and later his children for customer support and dealing with buyers. The best thing to do is to look online and see if your Santa looks like his other creations. He had a very define and precise look for his Santa's especially after 1960. Hope this helps, also you can ask to be my friend Facebook and send me some photos of your Santa, I would be happy to help you in dating your Harold Gale etc. Happy New Year :)

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      George 14 months ago

      Hello, We have four elfs that we believe were made by Harold Gale. These are all motion/animated elfs dressed in green and red attire w/boots. All four are different and do different motion movement. We found these two years ago at an estate sale in Chicago, seller said they were from Marshall Fields Christmas displays. We do have photos and would like to know if any 'experts' out there might be able to confirm if these are Harold Gale? All are in excellent condition,were found in enclosed crate and protected. All typical signs of Harold Gale - Boots-Belts-Motors and facial hand painted facial features resemble his Santa dolls. 3-4ft tall felt costumes some standing and sitting while animated. Please email geo.blissett@gmail.com for photos.

    • Glenn Waters profile image
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      Glenn Waters 14 months ago

      Hello George,

      I am sending you an email so you can send me some photos of your remarkable find. Sounds like you have hit Harold Gale golden treasure. He spent many hours on his window displays back in the golden age of retail back in the 1950s and early 1960s. You can also friend me on Facebook if you like. Be hearing from me soon, and thank you for your comment. :)

    • Bonnie Groves profile image

      Bonnie Groves 12 months ago

      I have been collecting Harold Gale Santas and have a few nice ones. I love to repair them. I have an older one that has a crumbling body- but great otherwise. Do you know how their bodies can be repaired? I repair vintage dolls but the Howard Gale bodies are a mystery to me! Any help appreciated, Thanks Bonnie

    • Glenn Waters profile image
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      Glenn Waters 12 months ago

      Hi Bonnie,

      The smaller ones are a lot like CHARACTER NOVELTY Company plush toys with a wire under-frame, and good padding. The larger moving window displays Santa's and Elf's also have a wire under-frame but Harold use more cardboard and less stuffing which can cause them to not hold up over countless years without some intervention. I would use a good foam rubber padding, and new support rods, and then you can re-dress the Santa once his interior body has been made new. If you have a good craft or hobby store in your area they should have someone that could help you with repairs. "Joann's Fabric and Crafts Store", and "Michael's Arts and Crafts" are two that I have used in the past for help. I hope this helps ... :)

    • Bonnie Groves profile image

      Bonnie Groves 12 months ago

      This seems to have spongey padding that is dry and crumbling. It is 15". The outside is great. I have a Hobby Lobby I can get to- but not the other stores. I just got this Santa today from e-bay and need to decide if I can fix it- or return it. If I keep him- he will be a challenge! Thanks for your quick reply! Bonnie

    • Glenn Waters profile image
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      Glenn Waters 12 months ago

      So sorry you had that happen on eBay ... That is way folks do not need to put these Harold Gale Santa's in attics and outside sheds or storage. The heat ruins the padding. Good luck in your quest. Hopefully you can locate the proper replacement padding and make him good as new. I once got a Harold Gale on eBay that had his suit eaten by moths the seller didn't mention that in the description, I kept him because he was a larger one, and I felt sorry for him. He still looks good in displays but not his back side, i will need to get him a new suit one day ... :)

    • Bonnie Groves profile image

      Bonnie Groves 12 months ago

      I guess I feel sorry for this Santa and will try to fix him. His padding has just started to crumble. I am thinking of ideas that might stop the deterioration with out removing what he has left He looks really great until you feel him.

      . I fixed a Santa in white with rust spots on his back side. He looks like new now. This will be a challenge. He looked perfect on E-bay but When I unpacked him there was stuff all over his body from the deterioration of the padding. Poor Santa! Luckily I did not pay a lot for him.

    • Glenn Waters profile image
      Author

      Glenn Waters 12 months ago

      Hi Bonnie,

      I am very glad he got a good home now. Those white Santa's can really make great displays. Sounds like you will soon have enough knowledge to do a hub on how to clean and repair vintage Santa's and Elf's.

      As for the deterioration of the padding, a spray adhesive in an aerosol can might slow down anymore damage, would have to place a cloth over the padding to seal the repair after you applied the adhesive. This should hopefully stop the crumbling for a period of time. Hope this helps ...

    • Bonnie Groves profile image

      Bonnie Groves 12 months ago

      I have some very interesting Santas. My favorites are ones on stands with mica flakes. I restored the stands too- one Santa needed a beard. I found crimped sheep's wool that is perfect. I have not gotten any elves yet.

      I had thought of the spray adhesive and thin padding sewn over the original foam. He looks good and does not leave a trail of dust crumbles behind him!!! This crumble Santa has different boots with solid heels.

    • Glenn Waters profile image
      Author

      Glenn Waters 12 months ago

      Hi Bonnie, the crumble Santa sounds like one of the earlier models, are his boots black or white? Harold Gale used black boots in the 1940s and most of the 1950s, and changed over to white boots in the very late 1950s, and they were the rage in the 1960s ... some folks call them Go-Go Santa's :)

      I think the spray adhesive and thin padding sewn over the original foam might do great, and solve the crumbles :) You will have to post your Santa's on Facebook when the Holidays come up, I would love to see them. Thank you for sharing your ideas, and I will have to try that crimped sheep wool on one of my beardless Harold Gale Santa's :)

    • Bonnie Groves profile image

      Bonnie Groves 12 months ago

      His boots are white- but different from the rest I have got with the solid heel. I also have a few earlier looking HG Santas with faux fur boots with Jingle Bells. They look older too.

      I found the sheeps wool on e-bay from a seller called allsmiles wool. Leicester lamb locks Santa beard crimpy lock- I glued it on with white glue and it looks great. Happy to share my Santas. I like to collect the different ones.

    • profile image

      Terry Pack 11 months ago

      Can anyone give me advice on restoring one of these?

    • Glenn Waters profile image
      Author

      Glenn Waters 11 months ago

      Hello Terry,

      Bonnie Groves is very good at restoring vintage Santa's, she is a Hub member and very helpful. She has given me a lot of good advice on where to find material for the Santa beards and other repairs. I hope this helps ...

      Glenn :)

    • Bonnie Groves profile image

      Bonnie Groves 11 months ago

      Thanks so much Glen. I love restoring vintage Santas and old dolls. Happy to help. Bonnie

    • profile image

      Tnguy 11 months ago

      Bonnie I would really like to know how to repair the Santa I found last weekend. He's dirty but I think I can clean him up pretty easy but his beard is lose and the angel hair looks like it melted? Or it's where they sprayed something on it to hold it in place and starting to come off. Not sure to upload a pic here.

    • Bonnie Groves profile image

      Bonnie Groves 11 months ago

      They used real wool on the earlier Harold Gale Santas. That is mostly what I have. Not sure how to help without seeing your problem.. I used white glue to attach the wool beards. Be careful with cleaning as the colors might run depending what you use. I cleaned rust spots off a white Santa with diluted bleach and used a tooth brush to get it on the spots. Woolite carpet and Upholstery cleaner also helps- but be careful. B

    • profile image

      Tnguy 11 months ago

      I have a picture but don't know how to upload it here or attach it.

    • Glenn Waters profile image
      Author

      Glenn Waters 10 months ago

      Hi Tnguy, you can click on "Bonnie Groves" name in blue and send her an email with the photos as attachments. She also has a awesome Facebook page, you can send the photos in a message to her if you have a Facebook page. Hope this helps.

      Glenn :)

    • Bonnie Groves profile image

      Bonnie Groves 10 months ago

      I would be happy to get an e-mail and look at your santa. I also have a facebook page.

      Thanks Glen!

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      Trzer 9 months ago

      I have some snow babies that I'm sure must be Harold Gale. If I send you some pics can you tell me what I can get for them? Thank you

    • profile image

      Debbie Rupert 6 months ago

      I just got a golden Belly Harold Gale and was wounding if anyone ever wash is Beard ? If so what and how did you do it? His beard is not in bad shape, but I just like it to be clean and I would like to do him over in pink. Thank you

    • Glenn Waters profile image
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      Glenn Waters 6 months ago

      Hi Trzer,

      So sorry I didn't see this request before, yes send your photos of your snow babies to my Facebook you can friend me if you like, thank you for your comment,

      Glenn :)

    • Glenn Waters profile image
      Author

      Glenn Waters 6 months ago

      Hi Debbie,

      Perhaps a sponge cleaning, but you would not want to get the beard to wet. Might be best to ask "Bonnie Groves" what she thinks is the best way to clean his beard. Bonnie is a Hub member and she an expert on repairs and cleaning these precious Santa's from the past, her link is in the comments above Trzer question. Thank you for your comment,

      Glenn :)

    • Bonnie Groves profile image

      Bonnie Groves 6 months ago

      I would not recommend trying to wash the beard- If it is an old Santa the beard is sheep's wool. It would have to be taken off to clean it. I have replaced beards that were gone or missing fullness. Natural crimped lams wool- see earlier post works well- I use Elmers glue to attach the new beard. Hope this helps. I mostly restore old dolls.

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      Debbie Rupert 6 months ago

      Thank you Glenn and Bonnie for all your help with this.

    • Glenn Waters profile image
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      Glenn Waters 6 months ago

      Thank you Bonnie for your help :)

    • Bonnie Groves profile image

      Bonnie Groves 6 months ago

      Always happy to help!!! I am restoring a 13" flirty eyed Shirley Temple right now! Fun!

    • Glenn Waters profile image
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      Glenn Waters 6 months ago

      Very nice,

      A Flirty Eyed Shirley Temple, I bet she will be amazing when you are done :)

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      Debbie Rupert 6 months ago

      hi Bonnie , I am hoping you can help me with this, what Fabric could I use for my Santa Looking on ebay and fine stretch velvet, Velvet, or would Velour look nice ? Also I do have a pretty pink pile fleece looks like fluffy fur do you think that would work?

      Glenn ,I just wanted to tell you Thank you for sharing all this Great Information and I so enjoyed all your videos.

    • Glenn Waters profile image
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      Glenn Waters 6 months ago

      Thank you Debbie :)

    • Bonnie Groves profile image

      Bonnie Groves 6 months ago

      You need to find something that is as close to the fabric that was used on the original Santas. I often find old used fabric for old dolls at thrift shops. New fabric looks awful on antique Santas or dolls. I would not use velour. Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

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      Debbie Rupert 6 months ago

      Thank you , so much for your help Bonnie ,I truly appreciate all your help.

    • Bonnie Groves profile image

      Bonnie Groves 6 months ago

      Always happy to help.

    • Paula Mills profile image

      Paula Mills 6 months ago

      Hi Everyone - I was wondering what is the largest/tallest/biggest Harold Gale Santa you have seen?

    • Glenn Waters profile image
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      Glenn Waters 6 months ago

      Hi Paula,

      I believe Bamberger's Department Store in Newark, New Jersey had a 16 foot mechanical Harold Gale Santa that they used in the early days of their once famous, but now forgot Thanksgiving Parades, before Macy's bought them. I have seen photos of him, and knew some of the folks that saw him in person, he was very majestic from what I been told. No sure what became of him however, he might still be in one of the basements somewhere in the now closed flagship Bamberger's Department Store in downtown Newark. That building was, and still is huge, eight stories tall I believe, not including the three levels of basements under the street level. Trucks would be lowered by elevators to these basements from the street level to be unloaded, it was an amazing store back in its day.

    • Paula Mills profile image

      Paula Mills 6 months ago

      Glenn,

      I purchased what I believe is a Harold Gale Santa he stands about 6 1/2 feet tall or a little more. I wished I could post pictures of him, would love get your and other collectors thoughts, is he pretty awesome and in pristine condition.

    • Glenn Waters profile image
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      Glenn Waters 6 months ago

      Hi Paula,

      You can send them to my Facebook page, just message me and put them in the message, or friend me :)

      I am "Glenn Edward Waters" would love to see them etc.

      Thank you for you comment,

      Glenn :)

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      Revonda Baker 6 months ago

      We recently found a large (approximately 66 inch I think) Harold Gale Santa in good condition...the original box denotes the name and has original shipping label. We would like to find a place to sell ours. Any suggestions? rbaker101@wildblue.net

    • Glenn Waters profile image
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      Glenn Waters 6 months ago

      Hi Revonda, How about eBay, please send some photos of your 66 inch Harold Gale Santa to my Facebook, Just message me, or ask to friend me, would love to see this Santa. Thank you for you comment, my Facebook name is "Glenn Edward Waters" ... :)

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      Susan Gale Laird 5 months ago

      Hi Glenn, I loved reading your article and looking at these wonderful pictures. It all brings back a lot of wonderful memories to me as I am Harold Gale's daughter. I do want to make a couple of corrections to your article however, since I believe the information should be correct for history's sake and in memory of my father. He sold the business in the early 70's to Bud Chapman and retired in California. He passed away August 6, 1982 of a heart attack. The business certainly changed after it was sold. Mrs. Ewing (proper in the day to not use her first name), was the magnificent artist who did many of the hand painted faces, making sure the blush was just right. My mother did the patterns for the outfits and in charge of the many seamstress who worked for the company. I remember separating the lamb's wool for the beards when ever i was down at the shop. It was truly an amazing operation.

      Really enjoyed the photos and love that so many peoples are collecting these Santas. My father always gave many away to others so his children (grandchildren and great grandchildren) have very few of these items. A really special thing would be to see if anyone has one of the coachman or the bears he made for 3M.

      Thanks for keep his work alive.

    • Glenn Waters profile image
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      Glenn Waters 5 months ago

      Thank you Susan for the information about Bud Chapman buying the company in the early 1970's, and about your father. Sounds like you might could write a wonderful book about the history of the company, and the amazing years of the golden age of Harold Gale's Santa's ... When I have time, and can think correctly I will try to update this Hub with the new details, hope you have a happy Thanksgiving. :)

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      Johnnyantique@aol.com 5 months ago

      I have a old Harold gale model 607 store display ? Would anyone where I can pick up a brevel motor with worm gear ? Thanks John

    • Glenn Waters profile image
      Author

      Glenn Waters 4 months ago

      Hi John, you might try eBay for your replacement motor, sometimes they have parts for Harold Gale display models, and good luck on your restoration.

      Thank you for your comment,

      Glenn

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      todd manoff 4 months ago

      Dear Glenn,

      I just purchased a 5ft Harold Gale display Santa, 1960 model. Was originally in a toy shop, then belonged to the same owner since 1965. I lubed up the workings and have him all working again. He is in really nice condition.

      The gear motor is not a Brevel however and I would like to pick up a correct Brevel gear motor as a spare. Do you happen to know what model/gear ratio the original Brevel motor was for the 5 ft model ?

      He rotates at the hips and his right hand razes and lowers.

      Regards,

      Todd

    • Glenn Waters profile image
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      Glenn Waters 4 months ago

      Hi Todd, I wish I could give you the correct answer to this question about the Brevel gear motor. But most of my collection of Santa's are the smaller made for home models. Hopefully with your question being made public someone can respond with the correct information about the size of the Brevel gear motor for you. I know there are a lot of display models for sell this Christmas on eBay. If you see one that looks similar to your model the seller might have the correct answer for you and would be happy to help. I will also go through me collections of Harold Gale paperwork, and see if I have overlooked any diagrams, and will let you know if I find any information :) Thank you for your comment and question ...

      Glenn :)

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      Debbie Souvigny 4 months ago

      Hi Mr. Waters, I hope I am sending this message the proper way this time as I believe using this hub network. I am not very computer savvy, for please forgive me! I did try to contact you through FB Message section too. I need your help if at all possible. I have stumbled across 2 Harold Gale Santa's I believe of which both I have yet to find any information on so I am thinking they are rare and hard to find! The first treasure is a HG Santa that is hanging onto a rather large plastic glittery parachute which spins via 2 D sized batteries. I saw a very small pic of this one on an image board (?) of a million HG Santa's and it looked to be a picture of a magazine or collector book perhaps referencing display Santa's. Now the other Santa I am not sure if it is a HG Santa. This little guy is 10 inches tall and sports a black tuxedo with a black plastic top hat. He appears to be an all plastic body meaning the boots are his legs too when looking up his pant legs (naughty me I know) LOL - anyhow, do you know anything about these 2 guys especially the tuxedo one as I see some rare ones were made for company advertising. This guy kind of reminds me of the monopoly guy... I hope I find your response as I am desperate for information because I may want to sell them. Thank you in advance and have a most Blessed day....Debbie

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      Karen 4 months ago

      Are the Santas with the fur boots with bells older than the Santas with the white plastic boots?

    • Glenn Waters profile image
      Author

      Glenn Waters 4 months ago

      Hi Karen, as a rule yes they are. Most of the white boot Santa's are from the 1960s and 1970s and are called Go-Go Santa's for white go-go boots and matching white belt that were popular during that era. The older Santa's usually from the 1950s have black boots, or fur boots with bells. Some of the larger Santa's for window displays in the 1960s and 1970s also had fur with bells or black boots however. Thank you for your comment,

      Glenn :)

    • Bonnie Groves profile image

      Bonnie Groves 4 months ago

      I love the Howard Gale Santas with the fur boots and jingle bells. They often are on stands. A few have arrived with out their stands. I have made a few that look good with the old Santas. Some of the stands are shaped like holly leafs. If I had a jigsaw I would try to reproduce them- but so far I just use plaques I get at Wall Mart.. The base is wood painted white with a spike through- a large nail works- it to hold Santa- who has a hole in his boot. I cover the stand with glue then mica flakes to give the stand a vintage look.

    • Bonnie Groves profile image

      Bonnie Groves 4 months ago

      The latest fur boot Santa has an outfit made of red satin not the usual velvet. He is all original. I took a picture. Wish I could share it here!

    • Glenn Waters profile image
      Author

      Glenn Waters 4 months ago

      Hi Bonnie,

      He is beautiful I will put him up on this Hub for your, wonderful job :)

    • Bonnie Groves profile image

      Bonnie Groves 4 months ago

      Thanks Glenn! I love fixing things!

    • Paula Mills profile image

      Paula Mills 4 months ago

      Hello Glenn,

      I wanted to share that I just listed the Santa on EBay, if anyone is interested.

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/232175130865?ssPageName=ST...

      Merry Christmas!

    • Glenn Waters profile image
      Author

      Glenn Waters 4 months ago

      Hello Bonnie, you did a wonderful job restoring your Santa :)

      He looks so happy :)

      Hello Paula, I am going to take a look at your Santa on eBay right now :)

      Good luck ...

      Glenn :)

    • Bonnie Groves profile image

      Bonnie Groves 4 months ago

      Thanks Glenn!

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      graphx7 4 months ago

      Hi Glenn - I have a couple Santas and adore them. Do you know when the faces switched from the "composition" material with the mohair moustache, to the plastic?

      Has anyone ever seen a catalog from the Gale company to help ID the Santas?

      Merry Merry to all....

    • Glenn Waters profile image
      Author

      Glenn Waters 4 months ago

      Hello graphx7,

      I believe it was in the late 1960s or even the early 1970s when they started to switch from the "composition" material with the mohair mustache, to the plastic ... Susan Gale Laird mentioned in a comment above that her father Harold Gale sold the business in the early 70's to Bud Chapman and retired in California. So a lot of the design changes probably took place after Bud Chapman took over the company. I hope one day to find a Harold Gale catalog on eBay, when I do I will share it with everyone on this hub :)

      Thank you for your comment, and Merry Christmas :)

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      graphx7 4 months ago

      Thanks, Glenn!

    • profile image

      Felicia 2 months ago

      Hi Glenn,

      I'm hoping you can help me. I inherited a Harold Gale Santa from my mother, who got him from my grandmother who was the manager of a Russell Stover's candy store. He was the display santa in her store for many years. He was a mechanical santa, but he no longer works. I would like to get him restored and if possible his mechanical parts fixed. I think he is from the late 1950's or early 1960's. Do you know anyone who works on these santas?

    • Glenn Waters profile image
      Author

      Glenn Waters 2 months ago

      Hi Felicia,

      I will ask around and see if any Harold Gale Santa collectors knows any good repairmen or women that still work on these Santa's mechanical parts and gears ... Hopefully someone will see this request, and have some answers for us. Thank you for your comment :) I know one of last Harold Gale mechanic expert, that was well know, worked on the moving characters in "Pee Wee’s Playhouse" but that was many years ago. What town or city are you located in? Perhaps there might be someone who is good with gears and electric motors located near you. Good luck and I will check with my sources :)

    • profile image

      Felicia 2 months ago

      Thanks Glenn! I posted a picture of my santa to Pinterest if you would like to see him. He needs some love because I live in Orlando, FL and he has been stored in the attic for as long as I can remember. It is very important to me that I find a way to restore him since he is connected to both my mother & grandmother who have both pasted away.

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      Franco 6 weeks ago

      Someone help us to replace our 4 ft+ Pepsi santa. We lost our home in a fire and santa was one of my wife's treasured items as her dad worked for Pepsi many years ago. My email is benvenutif (at) aol dot com. Thank you in advance for your help and may God bless you.

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