Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Did You Know Tuesday: Aluminum Christmas Trees

Did you grow up with aluminum Christmas trees?  I didn't;  we had live trees when I was a little girl, and artificial (green) trees later due to allergies. I always thought the aluminum trees were pretty, though, and am glad they have become popular again during the last few years.

The Aluminum Specialty Company in Manitowoc, Wisconsin began manufacturing these trees in 1959.  The owner of the company had seen a store display aluminum tree the previous year, and decided to manufacture these beauties for the home market.  The company became Evergleam, and these trees originally sold for $25.00.   This is an ad for an Evergleam Frosty aluminum Christmas tree:



In the 1960's, these trees became very popular, available in various sizes, and prices went down because they were readily available.  They were available in silver, pink, teal, and flocked.  Do you remember the scene in A Charlie Brown Christmas when Lucy sends Charlie Brown out to buy a tree?  She tells him she wants a "big, shiny aluminum tree . . . maybe painted pink."

This silver tree sold for just $18.50 in a 1960's catalog:


There were also color wheels available to spin and illuminate the tree in changing colors.  The trees were often decorated with Shiny Brite ornaments, which were light enough not to crush or weigh down the branches.  Some trees rotated on a mechanical base, and others even had an element to play music.

This 1962 Spiegel catalog page features a color wheel, a silver tree, a flocked tree, and other tree accessories:
 


Aluminum trees were everywhere!  This ad is from Rexall drug store:


The trees became less popular by the late 1960's, and Evergleam stopped producing them in 1969.  Smaller companies followed suit by the early 1970's.

Aluminum Christmas trees have become popular again in recent years as the interest in atomic ranch homes and MCM (Mid-Century Modern) design has grown.  If I find one at a local estate sale or yard sale at some point, I may have to bring it home.

Do you remember aluminum Christmas trees?  Did you ever have one?   Do you like them, or do you prefer a traditional green Christmas tree?   I'd love to hear from you in the comments, below.

9 comments:

Breakfast at Lillys said...

These trees are so cool!
We usually stick to the classic green tree but these add a fun twist.

xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

Kim Amundsen said...

Yup my mother pull on out every christmas.

Susan Deppner said...

Interesting background! I know our family didn't have anything but cut green trees when I was growing up. I think, though, that one set of grandparents did have an aluminum tree with the light wheel that shined on it. They're certainly nostalgic and fun, but I'll stick with green when it comes to trees.

Cara (Kindly Unspoken) said...

Wow that's so crazy looking back on all the trends with Christmas trees. So cool, thanks for sharing!

HungryForGod (Andi) said...

i don't remember aluminum Christmas trees - but I DEFINITELY remember Rexall Drug Stores! :)

Shann Soiney said...

We have an aluminum Christmas tree! It's my husband's, and it actually started us having a Christmas tree forest with all fake trees. We're in WI too, so that's a fun fact about the company in Manitowoc.

Birdhouse Books said...

Thanks, all, for visiting and commenting! I enjoyed reading your Christmas tree memories.

Wishing you a very happy holiday season!

Minivan Ministries said...

Someone's authentic aluminum tree was front page news in my small hometown a few years ago. I would love to have one!

Birdhouse Books said...

That is very neat - love that these retro trees are popular again.