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Aluminum Christmas Tree: The Return Of a Vintage Item

Posted by Aaluminum on December 27th, 2016

It was all the rage in the United States of America in the 1950s until the mid-1960s. We're talking about the aluminum Christmas tree; some key features it displayed include foil needles as well as lighting which illuminate the tree by way of a revolving color wheel. This wheel was at first not part of the ensemble, but owners of the aluminum Christmas tree could not put Christmas lights on it. Therefore, the revolving color wheel was designed to showcase the reflective nature of this type of artificial tree.

Many mid-century modern styled homes in America made use of  Christmas trees made of aluminum in the 50's and 60's. Nowadays, design enthusiasts who desire to bring back that nostalgic look have started to seek original, antiquated aluminum trees. Such vintage trees can be found at antique stores, estate sales, Craigslist or on eBay selling at a climbing rate of ,000 or more. Although they come in several varieties of color, silver was definitely the favorite. Even though the color pink seems to be a big hit with aluminum Christmas tree owners today, that wasn’t the case back in the 50's and 60's.

Christmas trees created from the metal, aluminum, are purported to be the first synthetic Christmas trees that had no trace of green color. But before the advent of the aluminum Christmas tree, white Christmas trees were created at home by using strips of cotton on leafless branches. This made the tree appear as if it was laden with snow and was perfect for displaying ornaments and other decorations. After the Christmas season, the cotton was removed and stored with the other Christmas decorations until the following year while the branches were discarded, or sometimes burnt.

The first Christmas trees manufactured from aluminum appeared in 1955 and when they became commercially successful, they were manufactured up until the 1970s. Modern Coatings, Inc. based in Chicago was the first to produce Christmas trees made from aluminum. The Aluminum Specialty Company which was located in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, was the largest producer of the aluminum tree in the 1960s, in particular between 1959 and 1969. The company was also into the manufacturing of toys. The first year, the Aluminum Specialty Company manufactured and sold about 200,000 to 300,000 of their leading product (which was named the ‘Evergleam’) at about per tree. Other companies pitched in and began to produce their branded versions of the Christmas tree made from the metallic element, with different models that ranged from table-top prototypes to trees more than eight feet in height.

Aluminum Christmas trees were thrown into the limelight in a 1965 movie titled ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas.’ The tree was portrayed to symbolize the commercialization or dissemination of Christmas and the  greed that comes with it. This was the primary reason why aluminum trees became discredited as they were dumped on the curbside a short while after the release of the movie.

Assembling the Christmas tree fashioned with aluminum is relatively straightforward; the aluminum branch is taken out of its protective sheath and inserted into a small cavity on a pole (which serves as the trunk of the tree). Then, light is splashed on the aluminum tree using the revolving color wheels and spotlights. You don’t have to hang ornaments on the metallic Christmas trees and you don’t have to worry about cleaning up fallen needles or watering it.

Also See: Christmas Trees, Christmas Tree, Aluminum Christmas, Revolving Color, Trees, Tree, Christmas

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