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.