If you’re not familiar with the YouTube Time Machine, you should be. The application and online destination created by former YouTube Nexter and online video contest aggregator Justin Johnson, iPad and iPhone developer Matt Capucilli, and promotions guru Delbert Dean Shoopman III takes a different approach to curating online videos than the ones to which you’ve become accustomed.

Instead of a familiar taxonomy comprised of top-level common classifications like Entertainment, Food, How To, Sports, Music, and Etc., YouTube Time Machine categorizes videos first by year, and second by everything else. That means you can check out clips from any particular time frame dating back to 1860 up to and including 2011, which makes it a fantastic tool for discovering online video ephemera for the nostalgia inclined.

YouTube Time Machine’s novel approach to online video aggregation also plays well with online video consumers. The app made it to the top of Apple’s best-selling charts within weeks of its debut, claiming the #1 spot on Paid iPad Applications, USA and the #2 rank on Paid iPhone Entertainment Applications, USA.

With that type of positive feedback and all the ubiquitous holiday-themed hullabaloo present at this time of year, Johnson, Capucilli, and Shoopman decided to make another YouTube Time Machine centered around a specific theme.

The recently-launched Holiday Time Machine is an application that aggregates over 2,500 hand-picked holiday videos and categorizes them by year, from 1898 to 2011. Here’s Johnson on the creation of the second iteration of his time traveling online video app:

There are so many holiday commercials, holiday specials, holiday songs – we just knew they were ripe for a time machine.

It’s been amazing to see how classic songs endure and are remade over and over again, and how some are so strange they flame out quickly. It’s fascinating to see how toys and games were marketed in the 50s/60s/70s and how they’re marketed today. We even dug up a bunch of silly local stuff that I find particularly heart-warming.

It took us quite a while to dig up all the videos but it was a fun process!

Visit the ghosts of Christmas’ online video past, get your own Holiday Time Machine here, and happy viewing!

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