Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lucy or Martha ? Who's to blame ?

Every year since I can remember at Christmas time I would watch the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. It's funny how you can watch the same show so many times and not notice something. This year I had to laugh out loud as Lucy told Charlie Brown to get a big, shiny Aluminum Christmas Tree. As we all know Charlie Brown didn't listen to Lucy and bought the infamous " Charlie Brown Tree " .  What if Charlie Brown did listen to Lucy? Would the sparkling Aluminum Christmas Trees be the pathetic, laughed at " Charlie Brown Tree" ? I have to say when I brought home an Aluminum Christmas Tree this year my family was mortified. My youngest daughter wanted to know where the "green" tree was.  I think the silver tree has grown on them and they actually kinda of like it now. The Aluminum Christmas Tree seems to have quite a following this year. I sold every Aluminum Christmas Tree we had this year at the Elk Rapids Antique Warehouse. Even Martha featured her Aluminum Christmas Tree decorated with a wonderful collection of antique and vintage ornaments in the December issue of Living magazine. I love how Martha Stewart can take something like an Aluminum Christmas Tree to a new level of sophistication.  I'm not sure if it's Lucy or Martha to blame for the Aluminum Christmas Tree phenomenon, but I'm a fan.

The Aluminum Christmas Tree

The " Charlie Brown" Christmas Tree.

The History of the Aluminum Christmas Tree

Aluminum Christmas trees were first manufactured in 1958, remained popular during the 1960s, and were manufactured into the 1970s. The trees were first manufactured by a Chicago company called Modern Coatings, Inc. Between 1959 and 1969, the bulk of aluminum Christmas trees were produced in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, by the Aluminum Specialty Company; in that decade the company produced more than one million aluminum trees. At the time they were produced in Manitowoc the trees, including the company's flagship product the "Evergleam", retailed for $25 and wholesaled for $11.25.

The first aluminum trees could not be illuminated in the manner traditional for natural Christmas trees or other artificial trees. The common method of illumination was a floor-based "color wheel" which was placed under the tree.The color wheel featured varyingly colored segments on a clear plastic wheel, when switched on the wheel rotated and a light shone through the clear plastic casting an array of colors throughout the tree's metallic branches.

"Whether you decorate with blue or red balls . . . or use the tree without ornaments - this exquisite tree is sure to be the talk of your neighborhood. High luster aluminum gives a dazzling brilliance. Shimmering silvery branches are swirled and tapered to a handsome realistic fullness. It's really durable . . needles are glued and mechanically locked on. Fireproof . . you can use it year after year."

- Sears, 1963 Christmas Book

Here some pictures of my Aluminum Christmas Tree.

Merry Christmas to All of You.

Antique Living


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