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History Lesson: The Aluminum Christmas Tree

Dec 7, 2013

by Jeni Sandberg

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Jeni Sandberg is a dealer, appraiser and consultant in 20th century design. She has worked in museums, was a Senior Specialist at Christie’s, and also appears on WGBH’s Antiques Roadshow. She writes about fun objects on her blog. In this series, she will explore the history of decorative objects. Today’s subject: that shiny symbol of mid-century holiday cheer, the aluminum Christmas tree.

Charlie Brown introduced me to aluminum Christmas trees, though I didn’t really know it. A Charlie Brown Christmas has aired on television every year since it premiered in 1965, and when I was young it was a much anticipated part of the holidays. At one point in the show, Lucy sends Charlie out to buy a big aluminum Christmas tree, preferably one that was pink, for their school play. My parents were antique dealers and favored decor closer to Colonial Williamsburg than mid-century modern, so we always had a real tree — there were no other options. A big pink tree was unimaginable, a sort of Christmas unicorn that existed only in stories.

Courtesy of J. Shimon and J. Lindemann

Pink tree with Shiny Brite ornaments.

In the 1960s, the aluminum Christmas tree enjoyed a brief but spectacular period of popularity. They were novel and different, something shiny and modern that spoke of a new era. The trees ranged from two to eight feet high, and while most were silver, aluminum trees were available in pink, gold, teal and flocked versions. They could be mechanized and illuminated and insured that your Christmas decor would be the finest on the block.

Artificial trees were not unheard of — feather trees dated back to the 19th century and bottle brush trees were patented in the 1930s. Aluminum was considered a rare metal in the 19th century and was more costly than gold or silver per ounce, but mining processes improved and by the 20th century the metal was far more commonly used. Lightweight and reflective, aluminum would prove to be an ideal medium for this Christmas decoration.

Courtesy of J. Shimon and J. Lindemann

Assembling the aluminum tree.

Though there were manufacturers in several parts of the United States, the great preponderance of commercially-made aluminum trees were created by the Aluminum Specialty Company of Manitowoc, Wisconsin. When their “Evergleam” line debuted in 1959, many embraced the shiny trees as an expression of the new Atomic Age. The trees appealed to a Jetsons-style notion of modern living where life was clean, automated and easy; with an aluminum tree, needles never fell, it could be stored compactly and re-used every year, with none of the fuss of a real tree.

Aluminum Christmas trees were festive enough to stand alone, but they were often decorated with sets of brightly colored glass ornaments made by manufacturers such as Shiny Brite. Wide hooks on the ornaments were recommended so as to not crush the aluminum needles.

Another important accessory was the color wheel. Because adding strings of lights to an aluminum tree was a fire hazard (metal tree + electrical sockets and wiring = not safe), another means of lighting the tree was developed. The color wheel was a device that sat on the floor next to the tree and shone a spotlight on the branches. A slowly spinning panel of translucent colors created a constant variety of effects on the reflective surface of the tree. Two wheels could be used simultaneously to heighten the effect.

Courtesy of J. Shimon and J. Lindemann

An aluminum tree with psychedelic color wheel.

If deluxe lighting were not enough for you, the color wheel could be coupled with a special base that slowly rotated the entire tree. Some bases were mirrored or included music boxes with a favorite Christmas carol for a full multimedia experience.

Charlie Brown may be in part to blame for the decline of the popularity of the aluminum Christmas tree. His small, scraggly evergreen was seen as superior to the gaudy aluminum version: a triumph of the true and authentic over the fake and commercial. The 1965 airing of his Christmas special occurred at the peak of aluminum tree production, as the trend was reaching its saturation point.

Allison Marchant

Christmas, 1963.

Certainly, the more extreme a style, the shorter its life span, and aluminum trees were decidedly not subtle. As the 1960s progressed, tastes changed towards an earthier style and the manufacture of aluminum trees slowed. Evergleam ceased production in 1969, and by the early 1970s aluminum trees were a thing of the past. Appreciation for the trees has increased in recent years, though, and they have become very collectible, especially when found complete and in good condition.

Aluminum Christmas tree images generously provided by the authors of Seasons Gleamings:  The Art of the Aluminum Christmas Tree.

4 Ft. Aluminum Tree with Color Wheel - Vintage - Christmas - Spinning Multi-Colored - Evergleam  - 1950s - Table Top
4 Ft. Aluminum Tree with Color Wheel - Vintage - Christmas - Spinning Multi-Colored - Evergleam - 1950s - Table Top
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Mid Century Kitsch Burlap Angel Figurine / 1970s Hippie Retro Groovy Mod Christmas Decoration
Mid Century Kitsch Burlap Angel Figurine / 1970s Hippie Retro Groovy Mod Christmas Decoration
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Vintage Glass Mercury Christmas Bulbs, Aluminum Green Mini Christmas Tree, Already Decorated, just add lights
Vintage Glass Mercury Christmas Bulbs, Aluminum Green Mini Christmas Tree, Already Decorated, just add lights
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Three Charming Mid Century Pipe Cleaner Santa Claus Figurines / Spun Cotton Bottle Brush Tree / Japan 1950s 1960s Christmas Décor Ornaments
Three Charming Mid Century Pipe Cleaner Santa Claus Figurines / Spun Cotton Bottle Brush Tree / Japan 1950s 1960s Christmas Décor Ornaments
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vintage Santa's sleigh and reindeer ornament
vintage Santa's sleigh and reindeer ornament
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Vintage Large midcentury lighted Ceramic Christmas
Vintage Large midcentury lighted Ceramic Christmas
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Mid-Century Red & Silver Aluminum Holiday Tree Garland, 26 Feet of total Retro, great with Shiny Brites
Mid-Century Red & Silver Aluminum Holiday Tree Garland, 26 Feet of total Retro, great with Shiny Brites
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Santa Claus doll figure wind-up semi-animated musical plays Jingle Bells Christmas kitsch retro decoration new old stock original box c 1960
Santa Claus doll figure wind-up semi-animated musical plays Jingle Bells Christmas kitsch retro decoration new old stock original box c 1960
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2 Featured Comments

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown from blainedesign said 3 years ago Featured

    Thank you for remembering the color wheel ... it was a must. Also, the newness of the tree encouraged a rethinking of ornaments. Out with the traditional, and in with the unified color scheme, all brand new and often in untraditional colors, like pale pink, or as your photo shows, royal blue. Nearly every really cool little boutique I've walked past this season has aluminum trees in the window. Thanks for this wonderful piece of nostalgia and history.

  • OceansideCastle

    Laura from OceansideCastle said 3 years ago Featured

    What a fun and informative article. Perfect read for Christmas Eve! My family didn't have an aluminum tree in the 1960s; but my aunt had one. I recall my utter fascination and my true case of tree envy when visiting her at Christmas time every year. I found that aluminum tree with the ever changing lights was mesmerizing; it was like a tree was out of a fairy tale; beautiful enough for Cinderella! Thanks for bringing that memory to mind to nite.

237 comments

  • StudioZen

    Leah from StudioZen said 3 years ago

    I never had an aluminum tree, but my friend Ramona did! I remember being in awe of the spinning color wheel on her shiny silver tree. Brilliant!

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 3 years ago

    Real trees were always the rule in my house when I was growing up, & I still remember my utter confusion when my friend's mother sprayed her silver tree with "pine tree scent"... I didn't know either thing existed!

  • mizdarlin

    Wendi from mizdjewelry said 3 years ago

    Long before the colour wheel was considered psychedelic, my next door neighbor had one with an also - rotating, terribly ugly aluminum tree with all purple glass balls..and that was just in the front room picture window. Out on the greenest grass on the block, he unfolded horrible fake fibreglass sheets to represent 'snow' and had a lifesize cut out Santa, sled and four reindeer with piped-out Christmas music..this lurid confection made my father's psychic eyes bleed, so he had his budding artist daughter (I was about 12, so, 1959 or 60?) make a small painted wooden sign for the middle of our front yard that stated "Scrooge Lives Here"...our neighbor was furious...

  • mizdarlin

    Wendi from mizdjewelry said 3 years ago

    Guess I should have mentioned..this was in sunny Southern California... which made it marginally even weirder...

  • PrayerNotes

    Prayer Notes by Cynthia from PrayerNotes said 3 years ago

    My husband grew up with an aluminum tree. This year, I surprised him with a 6 foot silver wonder of a tree!! Although I was a little dizzy after putting together this huge silver tree, he was so happy and pleased. And, that's what counts! His smile was worth it! Loved this article and the history lesson. I have a new appreciation for this silver beauty!

  • sandrostumpo

    Sandro Stumpo from GalleryDiModa said 3 years ago

    My mom usually has a real tree in the den and some type of plastic or metal tree in the living room. Something for everyone. Got to admit you can't beat the smell of a fresh tree.

  • SwankySocialitesClub

    Sandi from SwankyModernRetro said 3 years ago

    ohh myy....I have a photos of me in 1965 sitting next to my grandmother's shiny, gorgeous aluminum tree; I cherish them! I myself have a white Christmas tree....still searching for that one special aluminum one!

  • caughtlitesneez

    Nikki Cardilli said 3 years ago

    Fabulous! My tree is a kitchy artificial white one with colored lights. I absolutely love it :D

  • HomeStudio

    Stef and Mark from HomeStudio said 3 years ago

    Yay! We have 3 vintage trees including a table top one...and a color wheel. My next goal is to get the rotating tree base we used to have as kids.

  • KMalinka

    Natalia from KMalinkaVintage said 3 years ago

    AWESOME DECORATION!

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown from blainedesign said 3 years ago Featured

    Thank you for remembering the color wheel ... it was a must. Also, the newness of the tree encouraged a rethinking of ornaments. Out with the traditional, and in with the unified color scheme, all brand new and often in untraditional colors, like pale pink, or as your photo shows, royal blue. Nearly every really cool little boutique I've walked past this season has aluminum trees in the window. Thanks for this wonderful piece of nostalgia and history.

  • Arlysse

    Arlysse said 3 years ago

    Hehehe! in 1972 my parents picked up a big aluminum tree at the Salvation Army store with the intention of giving it to my school to use in the Christmas Play...Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown. We had a real tree that year. Well, the school ended up with about 30 trees so ours wasn't needed. At home, the real tree had gone up too soon and was just about dead a week before Christmas. My mother took the decorations and lights off it, tossed it out, and used the thrift store tree instead. It was beautiful! Big and fluffy and shiny and covered with stuff. My sister and I got to decorate two trees that year and we were thrilled! We were also the only house on the block to have a dead pine tree on the curb before the holiday. I'm now 47, but that remains one of my favorite Christmas memories. Sadly against our protests, my mother gave the tree back to the Salvation Army when we took it down. How I would love to have that tree today.

  • solocosmo

    Jessica Grundy from solocosmo said 3 years ago

    I want one now!

  • kriseisele

    Kris Eisele from KrismusPresentations said 3 years ago

    Thank you for the history lesson- a memory for me as I grew up in Manitowoc, WI. My parents' dear friend, Richard "Dick" Thomsen, was instrumental in the development of the aluminum tree. A story I remember my Mom telling me was that Dick's wife, Ellie, said to him upon hearing he would bring one home for their family was, "Over my dead body"! The Thomsen's were lovely people and I have fond memories of their family and of Manitowoc. I'm always on the alert at antique shops to find an "authentic" Aluminum Specialty tinsel tree with the revolving light!

  • volkerwandering

    Jess from volkerwandering said 3 years ago

    I had no idea these were so popular, great article!

  • rmrotek

    Michelle Mrotek from VirginsVintage said 3 years ago

    My mother found one at a thrift store in Canada for $3, it's 4ft tall and my cousins all call it the serial killer tree because they said it looked like it was made of knives. It's awesome, this year it's decorated with red lights and silver/ red ornaments.

  • gilstrapdesigns

    Debra Gilstrap from gilstrapdesigns said 3 years ago

    I was born December 25, 1958 and wow do I remember those silver aluminum trees they were so beautiful and I would just sit on the floor and look at it and the light spectrum thing with the colors of green, red and I think blue that would cast those colors and all of the beautiful ornaments. I used to love those silver aluminum trees then as I got older I guess in the 70's we all started getting the the green trees and it really took me a while to get used to those.

  • patspottery

    Pat Parker from PatsPottery said 3 years ago

    I had one of those in 1960, with blue bulbs and a flood light:>)

  • Arlysse

    Arlysse said 3 years ago

    Funny how these old trees survive and look great all these years later. I bought a beautiful white pencil tree just before Christmas in 2008. When I put it up in 2001, half the tree had turned a terrible brown and yellow combination. The new PVC tree had discolored after just a few years. On the other hand, my mother's huge white tree from 1988with the prickly needles is still going strong and requires little more than a good hosing down in the driveway every few summers to keep it white and lovely. I'm seeing aluminum and green trees which are decades old and are in great shape. Guess they really don't make things like they used to.

  • JessieArch

    Jessie Archambault from 1509Partridgeberry said 3 years ago

    I have fond memories of my great grandmother's house at Christmas time. She had a little 2 foot white tree with tiny multicolored aluminum bulbs all over it. And one of those electric fire places that would glow when you pulled the curtain aside. She would make chili and serve it to me in a margarine container, and I would sit next to the tree to cheerily eat my chili and watch the glowing "embers" in the fireplace. Great article to bring back Christmas memories to so many people!

  • DebbiesClayBabies

    debbie garrity from DebbiesClayBabies said 3 years ago

    Moved into an old house in Detroit and found a big aluminum tree with the rotating lights in the attic. I was such a dummy though,,I gave it to the two little girls who were visiting that day. I don't know what I was thinking,,,What a find!!!

  • UneekDollDesigns

    Debbie Ritter from UneekDollDesigns said 3 years ago

    I remember growing up in a house that had one for many years, until we got older, and yes, we had the color wheel too. Can't believe how I just dated myself! :)

  • OceansideCastle

    Laura from OceansideCastle said 3 years ago Featured

    What a fun and informative article. Perfect read for Christmas Eve! My family didn't have an aluminum tree in the 1960s; but my aunt had one. I recall my utter fascination and my true case of tree envy when visiting her at Christmas time every year. I found that aluminum tree with the ever changing lights was mesmerizing; it was like a tree was out of a fairy tale; beautiful enough for Cinderella! Thanks for bringing that memory to mind to nite.

  • PomDecors

    ElleJay from 20thCenturyKitchen said 3 years ago

    "Because adding strings of lights to an aluminum tree was a fire hazard (metal tree + electrical sockets and wiring = not safe), another means of lighting the tree was developed." My family had an aluminum tree circa 1960, and special lights were made for them. Tiny blinking lights in the usual colors. Perfectly safe. Never owned a color wheel.

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 3 years ago

    Cool! I didn't know they had to be assembled. We always had a real one.

  • hasincla

    hasincla from travelwanderings said 3 years ago

    Wow, I learned something new about the history of Christmas trees! This article makes me think about how beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that one person's trash is another person's treasure. Not everyone can appreciate an aluminum tree, but there are people who can and that's important!

  • fbstudiovt

    Laura Hale from FoundBeautyStudioArt said 3 years ago

    Growing up in New England, I had no idea aluminum trees were an option. When I moved to northern Vermont in my early 20's, anything but a real tree became even less of an option. But, oh my sweet baby Ray, I love them so! I mean, how can you beat a bright white shiny retro tree? If I could find a complete one, I would rock that look with a rainbow of ornaments and tinsel as far as the eye could see! And, best of all, my cats wouldn't try to climb it...

  • handyhappiness

    Heath from GuitarPickFashion said 3 years ago

    I do love the silver and pink aluminum tree look sometimes.

  • butikonline83

    Hendri . from butikonline83 said 3 years ago

    Great job!

  • OldLikeUs

    OldLikeUs from OldLikeUs said 3 years ago

    Sis and I are ALWAYS looking out for these trees! They can fetch a pretty penny these days. For sure it would be one of those "but I want to keep it!" items :-)

  • osandrameister

    Sandra from SandrasVeranda said 3 years ago

    My parents had one of these trees and it was great. I just did not realize it at the time! I never heard the story of using 2 rotating lights. I love the pic of the lady adding the branches and yes! they were wrapped individually in the cylinder style brown paper. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  • KaleidoscopicRainbow

    Aurora from KaleidoscopicRainbow said 3 years ago

    I grew up with a 6 foot aluminum christmas tree, it's quite normal for me. ^^" (and I'm a teenager) So they're not totally extinct!

  • GemmaBeads

    Misty from Gemmabeads said 3 years ago

    The second picture looks exactly like my grade school's tree. Each year, right by the office.

  • veronicalambert1

    Veronica from SparklingTreasureByV said 3 years ago

    I also remember a silver tree from my early childhood. This year I have my own silver tree! It is beautifully gaudy with multicolored lights (are they still considered unsafe?) and balls in magenta, turquoise, royal blue, crimson and apple green. It sends colored designs all over my living room.

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty said 3 years ago

    Interesting!

  • christineshmisteen
  • kathyjohnson3

    Kathy Johnson from kathyjohnson3 said 3 years ago

    Neat history lesson, I've never even seen an aluminum tree, but being from Minnesota we have alot of tree farms where you just go cut your own down so maybe that's why I never knew they even existed, thank you for the story!

  • xZOUix

    Zoui from XZOUIX said 3 years ago

    oh my dear dear dear! the pink tree is just amazing! :::-) i wouldn't believe it if someone only told me, and now i see! thank u for this article, i really enjoy it :)

  • marykaysamouce

    Mary Kay Samouce from MoonLitVintage said 3 years ago

    I came across a very nice "Evergleem" pom pom tree along with a vintage color wheel several years ago on an antique hunt. It's so much fun, a real treasure. Thank you for your history lesson.

  • AutumnLeavesJewelry

    Carolyn S. Miller from AutumnLeavesJewelry said 3 years ago

    Love these! Wish we still had my husbands white aluminum tree from his childhood, great to know we can still find them!

  • AutumnLeavesJewelry

    Carolyn S. Miller from AutumnLeavesJewelry said 3 years ago

    PS this wonderfully detailed article has left me with the theme to the Jetsons opening song!

  • rosebudsvintage

    rosebudsvintage from WillowsWear said 3 years ago

    Thanks for the great article that stirred soo many happy memories for me. Yes, I admit I am old enough,and then some, to say my family had a aluminum tree and color wheel. I would wake up and Mom would have it up, decorated, and spinning, she was amazing. The room would be filled with magical color. In the evening we would sit by the tree have hot cocoa and listen to Mom and Dads favorite radio show. How much simpler things were and how important family, home, and together meant then. Guess it's true, Those were the Days. Happy Holiday to all

  • buddhacat444

    Dana from BuddhaCatCreations said 3 years ago

    My Aunt & Uncle had an aluminum with the spinning light thingy. It was only for display in the formal livingroom. I was mesmerized by it! The real xmas tree (with the presents) was back in their family room. I have a small, table top aluminum tree (with lights) that I picked up on clearance a couple of xmas's ago. I have so many kitty cat ornaments - they needed their own tree ;-) It's quite pretty and sparkly!

  • staRibbon

    Keren Shaf from STARibbon said 3 years ago

    I never had an aluminum tree, but I am willing to try it this time. I had no idea these were so popular, great article! STARIBBON

  • valeriephoto

    Valerie from valeriestitchery said 3 years ago

    My parents found an aluminum tree in the box, with the color wheel (!) serval years ago at a yard sale for $5! It's awesome! We put it up in addition to the real tree though, not instead of. And we only decorate the real one.

  • eclecticintuition

    Denise & Lizzie from ClassicTableware said 3 years ago

    Growing up I always wanted an aluminum tree, but my family always opt for a live tree. I do believe my time has arrived!

  • StarTribe

    Penelope Neil from StarTribe said 3 years ago

    My parents were obsessed with Victoriana, so we always had the full-scale real tree, drowning in decor. My aunt and uncle had a blue and white tinsel tree and I was in absolute awe over it (despite that you can't beat the real tree smell). In the 90s I had a green tinsel tree from the thrift, sadly I lived in a sharehouse and well...things don't last in share houses. ): I keep promising myself that next year, I'll have a PINK tinsel tree with orange, white and silver decorations. Next year...

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage from accentonvintage said 3 years ago

    Great article! Lovely tree but old fashion balsam is the best!

  • gotowrist

    Camel Lee from gotowrist said 3 years ago

    Merry christmas! Best wishes!

  • peaseblossomstudio

    Caroline from AnchorRoad said 3 years ago

    We have always had real trees, but some day I would love to have a bright shiny silver or white tree! What a fun article and I've enjoyed reading everyone's memories. Merry Christmas all!

  • SkeletonKeyDesigns

    Molly from SkeletonKeyDesigns said 3 years ago

    We put up our Evergleam every year the night after Thanksgiving. My mother managed to find a vintage one with all of the original packaging (branch slips and box included) at a random antique shop in the midwest a number of years of ago. It is very much a large part of our holiday tradition. Wonderful article!!

  • oksanabilous

    Oksana Bilous from OksanaBilous said 3 years ago

    Thank's for information and some new ideas for Christmas !

  • luckeeluv

    Kelly from luckeeluv said 3 years ago

    While nothing can beat having a real xmas tree in the home, I'm so drawn to the elegant vintag-y look of these aluminum trees. They totally remind me of my childhood memories. Wonderful blog post!

  • KnitsByNat

    Natalie from KnitsByNat said 3 years ago

    I grew up with an aluminum tree as a kid. I think my parents still have it. My mother used to decorate it with red ornaments and one year I put in big aluminum bows in red,green and blue.

  • KnitsByNat

    Natalie from KnitsByNat said 3 years ago

    We celebrated Christams with an aluminum tree. My mother would decorate it with red ornaments. One Christmas I decorated it with huge blue,red and green bows. I think my parents still have it.

  • LangdonWood

    Art Drauglis from LangdonWood said 3 years ago

    Aluminum- very high strength-to-weight ratio. Good choice.

  • Fiume

    Erin O'Rourke from Aruguletta said 3 years ago

    It's so pretty! And the aesthetic is very cool. Opinions seem to be polarized on real tree/artificial tree, but I actually love both. I have a pink one, but it's not aluminum or vintage.

  • Bumbleweedz

    Dara Barth from Bumbleweedz said 3 years ago

    from an artistic and green point of view I wish my family would let me do the aluminum tree at christmas time....i simply love it to pieces! My grandmother did, oh how I love the memory.

  • treasuresfromthe80s

    Sammie from JillyBearDesigns said 3 years ago

    I just love my Aluminum tree. I put it up in my "grandmother's" living room and our main living room gets the traditional tree. I just love that the aluminum one gives me a place to display the old shiny ball ornaments I've inherited from both my grandmother's. That's also the room where I display my Putz houses and vintage Christmas glassware. Thanks for the article. I didn't know the history behind the tree. It's definitely a favorite of mine.

  • AnatomyVintage

    Amber Zaragoza from AnatomyVintage said 3 years ago

    I know what's on my after-christmas shopping list for things to stash away for next year!

  • VioletDreams

    VioletDreams from VioletDreams said 3 years ago

    Someday, I want to have an art-tree of maybe iron that looks like a tall branch that bends over at the top. Then a few other branches bending over below. Then I will apply just a few special Christmas Ornaments and bird nests. I really like the minimalist idea, as well as being a "tree" that I could keep year round as decoration, only to add Christmas decorations during the holidays.

  • dahlilafound

    Dahlila S. from dahlilafound said 3 years ago

    I'll NEVER forget seeing my first aluminum Christmas tree. I was walking to school, as a wee kid, in probably '68 & there in a picture window flanked by white drapes was a light blue tree! I stood aghast like I'd just spied an alien. I'd never seen anything like it. :)

  • garyhellerphotograph

    Gary Heller from garyhellerphotograph said 3 years ago

    Interesting history of the Christmas tree. I never knew the aluminum tree was popular at all. (Maybe because I grew up with a cast iron Menorah...;) I can see how an aluminum tree would become all the rave in the late 50's into the 60's with the country's obsesion with space, rocket ships and all things futuristic. Very cool.

  • violetsobsession

    Violet from violetsobsession said 3 years ago

    Love it! :)

  • simplyuniqueboutique

    Shop Owner from simplyuniqueboutique said 3 years ago

    This was my mom's first Christmas tree.

  • howardstownlaura

    howardstownlaura said 3 years ago

    Loved this article. Charlie Brown Christmas is my favorite, but it wasn't until I became an adult and started looking for vintage items, that I fully understood what an "aluminum" Christmas tree was. I'm from central Kentucky and we would have never purchased a tree. We always had a real tree we went into the woods and cut ourselves. For 25 years I've had a real tree in my own home and my kids wouldn't have it any other way. The pictures of the aluminum Christmas trees are beautiful. Maybe one of these days I'll get a shiny pink one myself!

  • AuriesDesigns

    AuriesDesigns from AuriesDesigns said 3 years ago

    I had an aluminum tree and the spinning color wheel on a light box that changed the color of the tree as it turned - LOL Thanks for the memories:-)

  • RaeKaryCaps

    KarynRD from RaeKaryCaps said 3 years ago

    I've got my grandma's aluminum tree set up in my living room right now. It's got the color wheel, red ornaments and I take extra special care of it to keep it in top notch condition each year. It was my favorite part of Christmas at my grandparents while growing up and now I get to carry on the same tradition.

  • mbguba

    mbguba said 3 years ago

    My Gram had one, a 3 foot table top version in bright silver. My seven siblings and I used to poke sly fun at it--but what i wouldn't give to see it, and my wonderful Grandmother, again.

  • cybersenora

    Lynda from cybersenora said 3 years ago

    I had an aluminum tree as a child and sat mesmerized as it changed colors before my eyes. I never knew what happened to that tree and I have always put up a real tree for my children (can't get enough of the pine fragrance), but....when ever I see an aluminum tree at a good price at the flea market or some sale... I grab it!!! So, now have quite a forest of aluminum trees!

  • noellizotte

    Noel Lizotte from ApronFreeCooking said 3 years ago

    My grandma always had the silver tree, with red glass ornaments and candy canes hung on the tree. Grandpa set up the spotlight and turned the tree rotator on. A few years ago, mom and I found a "Grandma Troxel" Christmas tree in a thrift store, I use it now!

  • HidowFiberFarm

    Veronica from HidowFiberFarm said 3 years ago

    My grandma had one with the colored lights and the tree rotated. I was born in 1965 and this tree is one of my Christmas memories. Grandma put that tree up every year until she died in the late 80's. Thanks for the happy fuzzy memory.

  • heavenlea

    heavenlea said 3 years ago

    I vividly remember our aluminum tree with the color wheel. I was, maybe, 3 years old, so it was in '68. Saw one recently in an antique store window and I sort of regret not going back and pricing it.

  • RSRenew

    Roxanne from RSRenewVintage said 3 years ago

    Love this!!

  • Shanay8625

    Shanay Worthy from ShanaysCreation said 3 years ago

    Nice work.

  • alone1102

    john hard said 3 years ago

    visit yepi6 org to play

  • iammieCLAYshop

    iammieCLAYshop from iammieCLAYshop said 3 years ago

    Pretty!

  • GodGracedGrandma

    GodGracedGrandma from GodGracedGrandma said 3 years ago

    Curious this subject would come up just as I've decided to buy one for next Christmas. As children, my brother, sister and I would lay around the tree and just watch it change colors. As I look back, it was a magical time in my childhood. I think my grandchildren need a little bit of this simple sparkle in their childhood as well.

  • vixjewellery

    vixjewellery from vixjewellery said 3 years ago

    I remember my cousins had a silver aluminum tree - I love all that kitschy Christmas stuff! It's only just a for a brief period once a year, it's only right that it should sparkle like crazy.

  • ClearwaterSands

    Janet White said 3 years ago

    When seeing this Christmas tree, I was flooded with memories. I am 65 yrs old and I vividly remember the year my mother thought this tree was the "Tree of All Trees". In other words, to me, it was awesome. Not only did the tree look quite fashionable, it also had a color wheel. What an experience. We only used it for one Christmas but it certainly left a impression that would last a life time on our family. What great fun it was to watch it turn different colors. However, we thought our mother had gone mad. Plus, whatever happened to the tree?

  • loganalexa

    Nicole Piazza from Burlesqutie said 3 years ago

    I have a vintage aluminum Christmas tree from the 60's. The tree spins, which is awesome because it makes the branches sparkle and when the daylight comes in the window, pretty sparkles are reflected all over the room! Unfortunately I don't have a color wheel, but I would really like to get one!

  • TheChequeredLily

    Kimberly Bouchu from TheChequeredLily said 3 years ago

    This is the first year since being a kid that I have had a Christmas tree and I'm so happy it could be my grandmother's aluminum beauty. My husband and I made a new center pole for it that increased the total height a couple of feet. My grandmother always used a set of satin finish ornaments in a pale lavender pink shade (sadly they all broke before the tree came to me). I found pink led lights for mine and added ornaments in hot pink, icy pink, and black, I still need a topper for it but I dare say it is the tree of dreams. :)

  • furniply

    Ingus Jākobsons from Furniply said 3 years ago

    Great article! For thees Christmas I made for my self plywood Christmas tree.

  • sarges

    sarges from sarges said 3 years ago

    Artificial trees, wow almost forgot about those things, man this takes me back to growing up in Vegas. My best friend's parents had one of the flocked versions with the color wheel and it was motorized to spin too, I thought it was pretty cool back then. I went home and told my parents about it and my parents (mother) not to be out done had to have an artificial tree too so we ended up with a bottle brush style tree. I hate the artificial trees today and refuse to have one, but your story sure brings back some memories, Thank you.

  • Splendere

    Pearlie from Splendere said 3 years ago

    I make my own - a structure with wires and then I run streamers around it. I think it looks marvelous!

  • FoxInTheBox

    FoxInTheBox from FoxInTheBox said 3 years ago

    Now this brings back memories! We had both a silver and a gold aluminum Christmas tree....Back in the 90's I was crying for 3 years every Christmas ,as a child, (age 5-7)until my parents deceided to give it away....I hated it....we were the only familly I knew that had this kind of tree back then when everyone else had either real ones, or the classic plastic green ones.... Now I kind of like it....

  • AScrappyLife

    AScrappyLife from AScrappyLife said 3 years ago

    Cool article! The spinning color wheel is hilarious! I'm way too young to have experienced the aluminum tree as we only had real ones that we cut down ourselves!

  • FrozenTimePhoto

    Brandon Addis from BrandonAddisArt said 3 years ago

    Love the article! I want one, especially after learning the history behind them!

  • Sweetvintangelady

    Gladys from Sweetvintagelady said 3 years ago

    It's been fun to read everyone's comments on their childhood memories of the Christmas trees. I grew up in the 70's in the Caribbean and we had a fake tree. It was green. I will be now on the look out for an aluminum tree in my treasure huts. Thanks for a great and fun article.

  • chronology

    chronology from chronology said 3 years ago

    I picked a vintage aluminum tree a few years ago and absolutely love it! With the color wheel, my collection of mercury glass ornaments and this year's addition of a rotating base, the look is now complete!

  • claudetteherman

    claudette from ZNextDesigns said 3 years ago

    Great article!

  • Shab2Chic

    Shab2Chic from Shab2Chic said 3 years ago

    I've enjoyed your story so much, it has brought back some wonderful childhood memories. I remember visiting my aunt who had this amazing tall silver tree decorated with the shiniest Christmas balls....I guess as a child, I never realized, how cool my aunt really was, she was on the cutting edge! Now I totally appreciate these vintage trees, and love driving down the road from home where a neighbor has a fabulous vintage silver tree decorated in front of her hugh picture window.....it truly looks amazing! Thank you for sharing your memories!

  • 2RavenChicks

    2RavenChicks from 2RavenChicks said 3 years ago

    Great article and I'm loving so many of the comments! Such a fun walk down memory lane! My husband had the aluminum tree with the color wheel and we both laughed when he told me he would be lying in front of it with his brothers just watching it spin. My family actually went a few years using two trees - our "real, live" tree and the aluminum tree which my mother used in a different area of our home - I remember thinking it was very fancy and beautiful :D Us kids were not allowed to touch it....

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery said 3 years ago

    Interesting I'd never really thought of aluminum being used to make christmas trees but these probably pre-dated our love of the artificial tree as we know it today.

  • msbijouxbeads

    Cathy from msbijouxbeads said 3 years ago

    Thank you for the history lesson and reminding me about these tree's. My mother had one and I didn't care for it at the time, now, I think it's retro and fun! I would love to put one up in our cozy cedar cabin! Happy New Year

  • LostInTheValley

    LostInTheValley from LostInTheValleyPhoto said 3 years ago

    I ♥ these kitschy trees.....especially the pink ones! I hope to own one someday. Thanks for the fun blog post!

  • aressa

    aressa from OriginalBridalHanger said 3 years ago

    My grandparents used to have one..They had a color wheel that went around and a light shown up in the tree....I always wondered why they did that...Now that I am getting older, I am losing interest in putting up a tree....I can understand more now why they had that tree!! (lol)

  • pasin

    pasin from Pasin said 3 years ago

    I do love the silver and pink aluminum tree.Cool article.

  • Rt9NJvintageFun

    candy donnelly from Rt9NJvintageFun said 3 years ago

    What a fun article! Thanks for the memories...

  • kadydesigns

    Denise Vining from kadydesigns said 3 years ago

    I love anything vintage Christmas!! Interesting article!

  • PeppermintBark

    Amy from PeppermintBark said 3 years ago

    Thanks for this great article -- I'm a big fan of mid century (and vintage) Christmas anything! That pink aluminum tree is *amazing*.

  • luckystar2009

    Qichun zhang from Buzaitingle said 3 years ago

    i love. thanks very much!

  • FlowerMoundEscape

    Melinda from FlowerMoundEscape said 3 years ago

    My grandmother was the queen of Christmas. I'm still not sure what kind of tree she had because after she put the ornaments on it she drowned it in the aluminum looking icicles. Maybe she was missing an aluminum tree from her childhood or maybe she was matching it. I honestly couldn't tell you what was under there! It looked like a shiny Cousin It with a star on top when she was done!

  • EdelweissPost

    Patrick from EdelweissPost said 3 years ago

    I love both kinds of "Charlie Brown Christmas Tress" - those fancy "hard but hollow" aluminum trees, but also the small, scraggly real tree which Charlie extracts from the tree lot like a diamond in the rough.

  • pepparonline

    Andrea Krejci from pepparonline said 3 years ago

    This is so awesome! I found one of those in my garage, left by the previous house owners.

  • NicoleKatherine

    Nicole Katherine from NicoleKatherine said 3 years ago

    They're so glamorous in a kitschy way :D

  • HomeDeconomics

    HomeDeconomics from HomeDeconomics said 3 years ago

    I am looking at my little 2 foot aluminum tree right now! I am all about kitsch (still hunting for the color wheel) and I have nothing but vintage family ornaments on it - everything from grandmas beautiful, delicate glass to my childhood dough ornaments. I originally bought it for display in my show booth but I loved it so much it is now our regular Christmas tree.

  • Motleycouture

    Motleycouture from Motleycouture said 3 years ago

    Loved reading this feature! I remember the aluminum trees and they were awesome. Thank you for bringing me back to fond memories.

  • 58pennylane

    Penny Burke from PennyLaneTreasures said 3 years ago

    As a child in the early 70's, I grew up with one of these aluminum trees. Spinning color wheel and everything else that went with it. My mother worked for Sears and Robucks and as soon as it hit the market we had one. My mother was one of the few working moms in our neighborhood, and since my father had passed in 1969, as I was the oldest, I was the one who put the tree up every year. I would do it on the Saturday morning after Thanksgiving. I've put a FEW artificial trees up since then and it was by far the easiest!

  • bluebirdluxe

    Eileen from bluebirdluxe said 3 years ago

    Oh goodness, this post and those pictures makes me want to cry! I grew up with an aluminum tree, too! And all I ever wanted was a real tree or at least one that was green. :) I pouted every Christmas. None of my friends had to pull branches out of paper tubing. We traveled a lot and that tree went with us. Well..fast forward {quite} a few decades and I asked my Mom what happened to the silver tree? I'd like to put it up! She threw it away. gasp! What?! No! She reminded me more than once that I never liked it. Well now - that's all I want! I want a silver tree! I can't even explain the sound, but I want to hear the paper tubing aluminum sound. I didn't realize how much I took that cute little tree for granted and I never knew how cool my parents were back then! ;)

  • nativestrandsjewelry

    Rachel from PeppersJewelry said 3 years ago

    This was an interesting history lesson. I like the pink tree!

  • beadeddragons

    Brittany from beadeddragons said 3 years ago

    My great grandmother has one of these in green. I remember growing up I thought that it was amazing, because I have always had a weakness for shiny things. I started laughing when the bit about the lights being a bad idea came up...my dad told me that they had to search for a second aluminum tree (loving the first one so much) because my great grandfather strung the tree with lights, and almost caught the house on fire. Luckily they got it out right away with minimal damage. :)

  • CynsibleCreations

    Cyn from CynsibleCreations said 3 years ago

    Sweet Memories.

  • RomanyMom

    RomanyMom from GypsySecrets said 3 years ago

    Thanks, this article brought back memories! My Romany grandmother had an aluminum tree with a color-changing filter wheel when I was very small. I thought it was just more of her magic! God bless!

  • starlaasher

    Starla Asher said 3 years ago

    Jeni, I had one as a child and have seen them for a few hundred dollars here and there the last few years. Last fall, at an estate sale, I stumbled upon one in white. The man had just sold the color wheel separately not an hour before I came along. The home had belonged to his mother and he was desperately trying to clear things out on this last day of the sale. He was begging someone to take the tree, in absolutely perfect condition, sitting there on display. When I walked up, he said, "You look like you need this tree for $5!" I looked at my husband and said, "Pack it up honey!" I called my big sis ecstatic, and even offered the tree to her in a moment of weakness. Thankfully, she said no, she already had too many Christmas trees. I live on the beach and put the tree in a large upstairs window overlooking Lake Erie, decorated minimally with white lights. I cannot tell you how many people passing by noticed and loved my humble tree. This was one of those finds that was simply meant to be. Now I need to locate the color wheel and it will look just like the one we had growing up. And, my sis is kicking herself for passing up a classic beauty at an unbelievable price. :) Thanks for the article and smile.

  • BachsCrafts

    Susan Bachmeier from BachsCrafts said 3 years ago

    Growing up we could never afford such a fancy commodity and had to stick with the old fashioned "real" tree, though I do remember that many houses in the neighborhood had the ever-changing tree. I was fascinated by the color changes and thought it was cool--like having four tress in one!

  • mudpiesandrainbows

    Mudpies And Rainbows from mudpiesandrainbows said 2 years ago

    I do like them, but for me Christmas is a real tree oh the smell when you walk into the sitting room first thing bin the morning.... Pure Christmas if only I could bottle it! ;), Sparkle Bright The Fairies xXx

  • AliCART

    Annaliese from AliCArt said 2 years ago

    Very interesting article. Would love to see one in person!

  • LedaDesign

    Leda Design from LedaDesign said 2 years ago

    This is so awesome! Love it!

  • JoDeneMoneuseJewelry

    JoDene Moneuse from JoDeneMoneuseJewelry said 2 years ago

    I didn't even know I wanted to know the history of the aluminum tree, but I found this extremely interesting! Thanks so much.

  • GeorgieGirlLLC

    D George from GeorgieGirlLLC said 2 years ago

    My grandmother had an aluminum tree and it always seemed so magical! Thanks!!

  • jeanahart

    Jean Ahart from Grantcitycreations said 2 years ago

    Theses trees look great with Bradford or Jewel Brite Ornaments. Mine is full of diorama ornaments. The glass Shiny Brite and collectors bulbs get the real fir tree. People are buying aluminum trees in 2013. Happy Holidays

  • Splendere

    Pearlie from Splendere said 2 years ago

    I handmade mine by twining aluminium streamers around a tree structure that is made of paper, rolled into sticks. It's equally splendid - to me at least! :)

  • bpdmso

    Mary from MarySanzJewelry said 2 years ago

    Great articles.! Love it :)

  • birdie1

    Laurie from BirdinHandVTG said 2 years ago

    Thanks for the fun and well-written history lesson! My aunt and uncle had the big silver tree complete with the rotating color wheel. As appealing as you think this would be to children, my sister and I seemed to instinctively know that something wasn't quite right here. Thanks for the memories!

  • desireeling3

    Desiree Ling from MamasLittleMarket said 2 years ago

    Wonderful article, brings back great memories, thank you.

  • rebeccasanchez

    rebeccasanchez from rebeccasanchez said 2 years ago

    We had an aluminum tree one year back in the 70's but I remember preferring the real thing. Looking back, its nice that I was at least able to experience having one metalic Christmas.

  • payMeNpeonies

    Shawna from CityGirlAntiques said 2 years ago

    these vintage trees are fun and fabulous!! great feature!!!

  • tippleandsnack

    Tipple and Snack from tippleandsnack said 2 years ago

    As a kid growing up in Norman Rockwell Vermont our neighbors had one, and they were considered a bit tacky by the rest of the street. In retrospect they were ahead of the times, and I applaud their shiny exuberance!

  • Parachute425

    Terry from Parachute425 said 2 years ago

    We always had a real tree for the living room and a silver tree in the family room. The tree is long gone but I think I still have the color wheel in the garage. Great memories. Thanks!

  • TheCheckerdRabbit

    Dianne McInrue from TheCheckerdRabbit said 2 years ago

    We had a silver tree in our living room...with a rotating stand that played Jingle Bells and had a huge circle mirror on the stand to reflect the lights. The light and color were amazing...I would fall asleep on the couch...staring at the lights reflected on the ceiling as the tree went around.

  • cherylKNITS

    Cheryl Kucharzak from cherylKNITS said 2 years ago

    I remember when we bought our aluminum tree. They were the latest thing in suburban Chicago, and my mother just had to have one! My brother and I would sit and marvel at the colors as they morphed from one color to the next. It was mesmerizing! I still have that tree (complete with color wheel and bright magenta ornaments) and prominently display it in our bay window!

  • PeppermintBark

    Amy from PeppermintBark said 2 years ago

    My (at the time) hipster aunt & uncle had an aluminum Christmas tree with the rotating color wheel and I remember it well especially since I was a kid who came from a 'Live tree Only' home. Now I have an aluminum tree of my own and I love it! It goes hand-in-hand with my vintage Shiny Brite ornament hoard. Merry Vintage Christmas!

  • FickleCraft

    Jamie from FickleCraft said 2 years ago

    I found an early Evergleam tree at a flea market. I snatched it up. It was in perfect condition, with each branch in it own sleeve, in the original box. $100? I didn't hesitate. As luck would have it, I had a friend who had a color wheel but no tree, so she gave it to me. We use it every year as our secondary tree, in the man cave, that stays up till New Years because it's so darn cool.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage from accentonvintage said 2 years ago

    Never had one, but enjoy the vision of it!

  • gilstrapdesigns

    Debra Gilstrap from gilstrapdesigns said 2 years ago

    This what we had at my grandmother's house when I was a little girl. I remember I could sit and look at that tree for hours and I remember she had some kind of color wheel thing that she would plug up and it would show the different reflections of colors on the tree I think if I can remember right it showed red, green, and blue. Boy this takes me back to when I was real little and now I'm going to be 55 on December 25th. I am so thankful that I have such good childhood memories and I always tried to make sure that my kids had good memories. Thanks for this article

  • mystuded

    Steven King from mystuded said 2 years ago

    I could smell the breath of the New Year here, Great and Cute!!!

  • EstateAurora

    AuroraHorton from EstateofAuroraHorton said 2 years ago

    My aunt always had one! I think they are beautiful!

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 2 years ago

    What's old is new again. Great info.

  • handmadebrooch

    Tom Lin from hicase said 2 years ago

    What a great new year!

  • littleshopofphotos

    Michele Iljazi from OneDecember said 2 years ago

    Such an interesting article! I love anything retro or vintage. I have never actually seen an aluminum tree, but would love to. I think it's time for a come back!!

  • Oldylocks

    Miranda Schubert from Oldylocks said 2 years ago

    Always loved these trees!!!

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 2 years ago

    I would love to put one of these up in addition to our traditional Christmas tree!

  • genisepark

    Genise Park from genisepark said 2 years ago

    Wow that is a totally cool article! Thank-you. And yes I do remember those trees, but our family always had a fresh tree.

  • brucepark

    Bruce Park from BruceParkArts said 2 years ago

    I have never seen one of these before! My family would get a fresh tree. Thanks for the fun article!

  • meganwms

    m w from DCCuriosityShop said 2 years ago

    I love the History Lessons!

  • jax71896

    Jackie E. from NorthernCottageGifts said 2 years ago

    Very fun and informative article! Although I was a 60s baby, I don't recall us ever having an aluminum tree. I'm sure I would have remembered that magical color wheel! :) Merry Christmas from Alaska, Jackie

  • KnitByCoutureStudio

    Rachida Selvidge from KnitByCoutureStudio said 2 years ago

    Cool designs, my daughter is wishing for one next year, but this year we are having a fresh tree. I love Christmas time, and all the buzz of preparations. And I'm promised a relaxed Christmas day as my daughter has volunteered to cook the Christmas dinner. Happy Christmas to everyone, and you are more than welcome to visit my shop for Steampunk gift ideas and decorations :)

  • maggiessong1

    maggiessong1 said 2 years ago

    My Mom made sure we were one of the "with it" households on our block and were the first ones to proudly display our beautiful aluminum tree complete with awesome color wheel! Ahh, those were the days!

  • noodle192000

    noodle192000 said 2 years ago

    They at least used to sell those (color wheel and all) at the Vermont Country Store. My parents, who grew up in the 60's, really disliked them and I used to tell my mother I would buy her one. :) When my son gets older, I might get one. We are having a natural tree that's about 3 feet tall this year due to a toddler and two cats in the house.

  • DeEscalaArt

    BEATRIZ DE ESCALA from DeEscalaArt said 2 years ago

    I remember them...Love it..

  • 2RavenChicks

    2RavenChicks from 2RavenChicks said 2 years ago

    Oh my! A walk down memory lane to be sure! Both my husband and I remember having these silver beauties as children. HIS family had the color wheel. I feel so deprived since my family didn't. ;P

  • jabdesigns1

    jabdesigns1 said 2 years ago

    I have my grandmother's silver tree in its original packaging. I also have the color wheel and revolving base. I don't use it every year, but I cherish it and refuse to part with it.

  • bottlebloomers

    Leanne Stock from ArtePlastique said 2 years ago

    I have a tabletop aluminum tree and the color wheel. It's a noisy little wheel when it turns adding to the charm.

  • realfaery

    realfaery from realfaery said 2 years ago

    LOL First time seeing such:))))

  • Laladesignstudio

    Lala Jewelry from Laladesignstudio said 2 years ago

    Love the glitz! Hope to find one of these treasures at my local thrift store store day.

  • That70sShoppe

    Natalie from That70sShoppe said 2 years ago

    Yay for vintage Christmas!

  • chellecarmody1

    michelle from chellechet said 2 years ago

    thank you I have learned so much about the aluminum tree.

  • MustLuvVintage

    Cassie from FoundYesterdaygoods said 2 years ago

    Fantastic article! I love aluminum Christmas trees! We have one and it looks amazing with our collection of older ornaments. And thank you for featuring our listing of shiny brite ornaments on an aluminum tree! I'm so glad that we are preserving the past and protecting Vintage Christmas decorations. They provide a feeling that just can't be replicated with "new" mass produced throwaway decorations.

  • debragalbo

    Debra Galbo from HowCuteAreYou said 2 years ago

    As a child, I thought the prettiest thing I ever saw was a spinning aluminum tree with changing color wheel lights. I remember thinking the people who had them must be rich, who else could afford a silver tree that changed colors.

  • lesleysaligoe

    Lesley Jean from somedaysoonjewelry said 2 years ago

    Loved this article! I have my great grandparent's gold aluminum tree + color wheel. It makes the holidays so much brighter in our home!

  • vitamini

    Casey Starks from vitamini said 2 years ago

    I love my aluminum tree! And the party really gets started when I switch on the color wheel. And I found them both on Etsy! :)

  • LAccentNou

    Anastasia from LAccentNou said 2 years ago

    I have a feeling I went back to my childhood! Thank you and happy holidays to you all!

  • susantique

    Susan from susantique said 2 years ago

    My husband has fond memories of his childhood aluminum Christmas tree. The only one I saw up close and personal as a child was in the Winn's dime store front display window. I was mesmorized! About 15 years ago I purchased one from a dealer friend and presented it to my husband the week before Christmas. He was THRILLED!! I later found another one at a yard sale. Now we have 2 that we decorate every year...but of course, I have to have a real tree too. : )

  • EdelweissPost

    Patrick from EdelweissPost said 2 years ago

    I love both kinds of "Charlie Brown Christmas Tress" - those fancy "hard but hollow" aluminum trees, but also the small, scraggly real tree which Charlie extracts from the tree lot like a diamond in the rough.

  • Elyseeart

    Lavinia Voicu from Elyseeart said 2 years ago

    Sweet and nostalgic! Thank you for this magical article!

  • OnThePierPhoto

    Stefanie Flodmand from OnThePierPhoto said 2 years ago

    We have an aluminum tree AND color wheel. I love everything about it! Makes me wish I was born before the 80s to truly appreciate an era where Christmas was magical. Thanks so much for sharing a great story!

  • ttlaplaca

    Tina L from RollingMeadeDesigns said 2 years ago

    My grandparents had this aluminum tree that spun around on a base and had colored lights shine on it. I remember staring it as a young child. I think my Uncle has it now or he has since sold it on Ebay. LOL

  • patspottery

    Pat Parker from PatsPottery said 2 years ago

    I had one with all blue glass ornaments and blue lights shining on the tree. It was in the late 50s in Milwaukee, Wisc.

  • DornickDesigns

    Kathy Hardy from DornickDesigns said 2 years ago

    I have a friend (Stephen Jackson) that lives here in Brevard, NC that has the largest collection of "vintage" aluminum trees and ornaments in the whole world. I'm actually going to see them again next week! I love them! http://www.ashvegas.com/o-shiny-tannenbaum-brevards-aluminum-christmas-tree-museum-is-back

  • creationsbyMrsJoJo

    Joanne from SeamsLikePinkPaisley said 2 years ago

    Love the photos! Brings back memories. I enjoyed reading the comments. Knowing that the aluminum tree brings back memories for so many is fun to read about!

  • FieldsOfVintage

    C. Lydia from FieldsOfVintage said 2 years ago

    Thank you for taking us back to memory lane, I always love the sparkling trees as they reminded me of glitter.

  • MabeyBaby

    amy mabey from MabeyBaby said 2 years ago

    My grandmother (who I was named after) had a tabletop aluminum tree and I just absolutely loved it. I thought it was so beautiful and she had these sweet little mercury glass bells for ornaments. My aunt gave me that tree this past summer, so this is the first time I've gotten to put it up in my house. We just finished the trees tonight and I'm so happy to see my granny's tree, with several of her bells, sitting in front of my window. I think she'd get a kick out of knowing it's still getting used and is still very much loved...

  • debvasbinder

    Deb Vasbinder from BabyCuteBaby said 2 years ago

    I remember the day vividly like it was yesterday when my Mom brought home the aluminum Christmas tree - my Dad and I cringed - but then the magic happened when it was up -decorated and the color wheel was plugged in - WOW! This article brought back so many great memories growing up with the big silver tree. Many years ago I gave away the tree at a yard sale I regret that & wish I still had it.. but I do have the color wheel and it still works. I loved reading all the comments and the tribute to the aluminum tree of the 60's. Thank You!

  • graceculture

    Lin from GraceLinStudio said 2 years ago

    your story inspire me,thank you for your share.what a wonderful product!

  • HomeStudio

    Stef and Mark from HomeStudio said 2 years ago

    Love love love them. We have 3 vintage trees in various sizes. Had them for 20 years now. Plus the color wheel! Great post

  • bedouin

    Nicole from bedouin said 2 years ago

    Terrific tribute to a shiny shining holiday

  • Sugarcookielady

    Susan from Sugarcookielady said 2 years ago

    We love our aluminum tree. My boys like to turn on the color wheel and watch the "waves" of color blur across the ceiling.

  • Themissingtagvintage

    Caroline and Brandon Matey from TheMissingTagVintage said 2 years ago

    Great history lesson! Now where to find one. ;)

  • HenPrints

    Laurie Kitzke from HenPrints said 2 years ago

    We just finished getting the aluminum tree up! I have a 7 foot taper tree that was made in Pennsylvania. I have it loaded with mercury glass ornaments and love it. I have a color wheel to make it sparkle. My tree is from 1961, quite a few wrinkled needles but still beautiful!

  • BeadingTimes

    Zeynep from ZeyJewel said 2 years ago

    Great job!

  • MagpieWorkshop

    Jeanne Berg from MagpieWorkshop said 2 years ago

    Loved reading everyone's memories.

  • kathyjohnson3

    Kathy Johnson from kathyjohnson3 said 2 years ago

    Love the vintage treasures!

  • teazel

    Linny from teazel said 2 years ago

    merry christmas!

  • Motleycouture

    Motleycouture from Motleycouture said 2 years ago

    Love these trees! Reminds me of when I was a little girl and all the bling of the holidays. Recently bought one for my daughter. Great feature!

  • FiftyFourTenStudio

    Mary Lee from FiftyFourTenStudio said 2 years ago

    Thank you for the very informative story. We always had a fake Christmas tree ....not aluminum though. I remember putting lots and lots of silver tinsel on the branches of the tree....another tree decoration style that didn't last!

  • montanagirl

    Carmen from MontanaGirl said 2 years ago

    Thanks for the history lesson! I remember being fascinated by my neighbor's tree with the color wheel and hot pink ornaments. It was the complete opposite of our real evergreen with strung popcorn garlands and candy canes.

  • ACESfinds

    Alison Herr Scates and Chuck Scates from ACESFINDSVINTAGE said 2 years ago

    Wow, absolutely fabulous! Thanks for all of the info! I remember my Grandma's aluminum tree. It was such a glorious sight to see! I have also had the pleasure of having the color wheels in my shop during past holiday seasons. They are so much fun. Thanks for sharing this story and the photos too.

  • LookBackVintage

    LookBackVintage from LookBackVintage said 2 years ago

    I am old enough to recall when they first came out. They were so space age and to my child's eye, kind of weird. Much later, we had one in an office that I worked in, and it was so scrawny! But kind of pretty because we had the color wheel to go with it. That was at the very end of the aluminum tree's popularity. I have a very small (about a foot tall) aluminum tree in my vintage Christmas collection now. It brings back memories of childhood and those trees that I thought were so strange!

  • unflappableproducts

    unflappableproducts from unflappableproducts said 2 years ago

    There is my childhood home decor for the holidays-enchanting for a kid-pink trees

  • ToucanMango

    ToucanMango from ToucanMango said 2 years ago

    Great write up! I am 51 years old and we had an aluminum tree until I was around the age of 10. About 10 years ago I found & purchased a rare 8' aluminum taper tree with 208 branches. My wife & I just finished putting it together, It took 45 min. but worth every minute. Thanks for sharing!

  • westiesmom

    westiesmom said 2 years ago

    my mom had one with the four color light and blue balls ...... i hated it i had my own small real tree in my bedroom

  • classicowgirl

    Hyla Smith from HyStyleVintage said 2 years ago

    Great article:) I love the aluminum tree, I would love to have a pink one and a silver one even though they don't match any of my style nor would they fit in our smallish rooms of our 100 year old farmhouse/bungalow style house(was actually 2 old very small houses originally joined together). Anyway, some friends of the family had a silver aluminum tree when I was a child and I remember watching the color wheel and being mesmerized by the shiny silver, it was so very different from our traditional tree with handmade and old ornaments. To this day, silver has always been a part of my Christmas décor because I adore the way it glows in the soft light. Thanks again for sharing and Merry Christmas from Hy-Style Vintage Treasures;)

  • peachywink

    Katherine Darnell said 2 years ago

    My Grandparents had one with a color wheel I thought it was the most amazing thing as I have never seen another one in person.

  • susetfbs

    Suse from Suseshop said 2 years ago

    I had one when I was a child, I really don't remember it, as I was born in 64 and my Mother got rid of it in 1959 when we moved from Florida to Wisconsin. But I did remember looking in a basket of photographs of me and my sisters and brother sitting in front of it. A few years ago, just as they were showing up on ebay, I got a beautiful one just like in the pictures with the color wheel on ebay for $50. I was nervous and skeptical that it would arrive in rough shape, but it was perfect! I was so happy and it has a special place during the holidays at my house.

  • opendoorstudio

    Martha Layton Smith from opendoorstudio said 2 years ago

    when I was growing up...our neighbors had a tree like this... is proudly sat in their posh living room every christmas. I remember the colorful rotating light! brings back memories. I recently found a vintage tinsel tree... in green aluminum, can't wait to recreate my childhood memories...on a tinier scale. Happy holidays all!

  • whatsit

    Candice from blissfulfinds said 2 years ago

    This article is interesting and brings back such wonderful Christmas memories. When I was young in the 50's and 60's we had a silver aluminum Christmas tree with the color wheel. We decorated ours with an assortment of glass ornaments. I remember sometimes the color wheel would not balance correctly and would not turn and be a pain in the neck for my Dad. My Grandparents also had one and would decorate theirs with all blue glass balls and the color wheel and theirs had the stand/base that rotated the tree and played "Silent Night". I wish I still had their tree and stand now! I recently sold a tree in my Etsy shop for $90. It wasn't perfect but still had all the pieces.

  • beachseacrafts

    Marilyn from beachseacrafts said 2 years ago

    we had one growing up too. Lots of fond memories. Thanks for sharing. I now have a white tree with turquoise seashell and sand dollar ornaments. Its not metal..but reminds me of times past.

  • HeatherTrombly

    HeatherTrombly said 2 years ago

    Although we had many years with real christmas trees I remember this tree. We displayed the Silver Pom-Pom tree first it at my Grandparents home and then at our home when I was a young girl. The color wheel set the mood. My sister still has it along with the color wheel. Memories.

  • BodaciousDesignz

    Barbara from BodaciousDesignz said 2 years ago

    Thank you for bringing back memories! I remember our aluminum tree, with the color wheel! I was in awe! Loved it. But, later, wanted a REAL tree. Barbie dolls, bikes, game boards all come to mind when I think of that tree. There were 4 girls in our family. We had share everything!

  • Vintagerous

    J Rose from Vintagerous said 2 years ago

    I really loved this post. As a vintage seller, it speaks to my heart! I love glass ornaments and use them as props in my pictures with the vintage glass I sell. One day I'll find enough ornaments so that I can part with a few in my store! Ha! There is something about decorations from the 50s and 60s - that unmistakable charm. I'd love to find an aluminum tree when I am out picking! That would be a true score!

  • AlteredEcoDesigns

    Janine Hamilton from AlteredEcoDesigns said 2 years ago

    Nothing says nostalgia like the old foil trees! Love this post and all the great vintage finds!

  • glasssmarts

    pam bean from glasssmarts said 2 years ago

    My hometown is Manitowoc! I remember wanting one of these trees in the WORST way. My Mom thought they were tacky and we probably couldn't have afforded it anyway. Dear old Mom, however, had no problem spraying pink fuzzy stuff on a real tree and decorating it with cheesy fake doves that usually ended up hanging upside down. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

  • tammydouglas3

    Tammy Douglas from BeachHouseTreasures said 2 years ago

    I have well over 300 vintage Christmas ornaments and I think one day I will have to find an aluminum tree to make this collection complete!!

  • lindyjean

    Linda from bitsokits said 2 years ago

    ugh! those things were, and are, hideous! i remember a couple of our neighbors had them, and the color wheel.....i think i get my opinion from my mother, who abhored aluminum trees----her parents owned a christmas tree farm, and so, ANY fake tree was blasphemous to her, and i think i inherited that stance. even now, when the artificial trees look so good AND they have lights right there in the branches, when i think about buying one, i hear my mother's voice saying, "but nothing smells as good as a fresh tree!"

  • sardoodledom

    Anita from thelastvcr said 2 years ago

    I have an aluminum tree lit up right now! http://www.flickr.com/photos/lookinthetunk/6572265079/in/set-72157594405949478

  • jrgallego

    JR Gallegos from JGallegosArt said 2 years ago

    Has anyone found a fiber optic Christmas tree??

  • KapKaDesign

    Eva Miller from KapKaDesign said 2 years ago

    LOL This is fun! I especially enjoyed reading all the comments!

  • VintageResearch

    Allison from VintageResearch said 2 years ago

    I love kitchy trees. Especially since I'm horribly allergic to the real ones. This was interesting! Thanks for sharing :)

  • durriya100

    Fatema from HarmonyBM52 said 2 years ago

    Great article !very informative as well Thanks for sharing .I will make sure my 10yrs daughter read too.

  • TheHickoryTree

    Linda from TheHickoryTree said 2 years ago

    Growing up we always had a real 10 foot tree in our living room but my Mom found 4 of these beautiful aluminum trees and placed one in each of our bedrooms when I was a kid so we could fall asleep with the twinkling holiday lights by our beds. Thanks for reminding me of my wonderful childhood memories.

  • 8point8

    8point8 from ThinkEco2 said 2 years ago

    Fun article, thanks for sharing.

  • lowelowejewelry

    Lowe Jewelry from lowelowejewelry said 2 years ago

    Wonderful article :)

  • CarmieLand

    Pandora from CarmieLand said 2 years ago

    Love these Glittering trees. H A P P Y H O L I D A Y S everyone @ Etsy!

  • LazyTcrochet

    Tricia from LazyTcrochet said 2 years ago

    We had an aluminum tree when I was young. I would put it up in my bedroom for my own little tree. My brother kept it all these years and refuses to part with it. I don't blame him! I have a Santa ornament just like the one shown from peppermintbark.

  • LittleVintageCottage

    Tania from LittleVintageCottage said 2 years ago

    I didn't grow up with an aluminum tree but I have one now!! It was a gift several years ago from my parents and it is up now in my home! I also have the rotating base and a color wheel! I loved this article! Tania

  • agebo

    Ann Cosgrove from acbcDesign said 2 years ago

    Love those aluminum trees! What a fun article - so interesting hearing the history of holiday decorations.

  • dominna

    Katrina Dzerkale from Dominna said 2 years ago

    Such a glamorous tree :)

  • ourfrontyard

    Julie Schnebelen from OurFrontYard said 2 years ago

    One of my happiest Christmases was when Mom put up an aluminum tree with those beautiful slow strobe wheel colors. The only glow as I came down the stairs to see what Santa had left. One of the best! Thanks Mom. ;-)

  • seasidecloth

    seasidecloth from seasidecloth said 2 years ago

    So informative - did not know the history of this shiny piece of holiday goodnes - thanks for the article!

  • MyCraftyCloset

    Amanda from MandaleighHOME said 2 years ago

    My Husbands grandparents had one... so fun. Thanks for the article!

  • heiditheartist

    Heidi Denessen from hArtandFashion said 2 years ago

    fabulous article!!!! luv it

  • DorisDiao

    Doris Diao from Diysuppliers said 2 years ago

    nice!!I saw this on facebook.really love it.

  • Vintage50sEyewear

    Vintage50sEyewear from Vintage50sEyewear said 2 years ago

    Beautiful! I love the vintage aluminum trees :)

  • ionesAttic

    Barbara from ionesAttic said 2 years ago

    It took 7 hours to fly from Minneapolis to Los Angeles in 1961. My aunt, Ione's sister Claire lived in Anaheim and had what I thought was the epitome of California Christmas cool…the pastel light painted aluminum tree. Thanks for the memories...

  • sweetlarainescloset

    laraine from sweetlarainescloset said 2 years ago

    I have my tree and was gifted with a color wheel by a friend . It is very special to me.

  • katherinedooren

    katherine Lenz from 214EVER said 2 years ago

    IT IS SUCH A GREAT PITY THAT IN CHINA, THERE IS SO SUCH CHRISTMAS TREE AND SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

  • hellome

    April from hellome said 2 years ago

    Ooh, thanks for bringing this article back up from last year. I'd love an aluminum tree or even white. I live in New Hampshire so why on earth I need a green tree in my home is beyond me lol. I have a fake tree that's several years old and I bought some fake snow to spray on it, maybe kind of revive it a bit. I considered some chrome spray paint but I think I'd really have to commit to that and it wouldn't have the effect I was hoping for. I'm now officially keeping my eyes open for a white or aluminum tree for next year, though. :)

  • FireHorseTextiles

    Julia K Walton from JuliaKWalton said 2 years ago

    Fascinating article! My parents bought a green and silver one in the 70s and they still put it up to this day - it's quite a family tradition :)

  • aressa

    aressa from OriginalBridalHanger said 2 years ago

    I remember my grandparents having the all silver tree. Then they had a colored light that rotated changing the colors on the tree....Also remember many of the decorations shown...Probably have some of them too...

  • agardenofdreams

    a garden of dreams from agardenofdreams said 2 years ago

    great article- the aluminum Christmas tree is an icon of the mid century America! I am not sure what fascinated me more- the rotating light or the tree itself. I think it may have been the start of my lifelong "magpie" syndrome..... ;-)

  • dressywomenshop

    Cherry zheng from DressyProm said 2 years ago

    Wow~ So cool!

  • illuminativeharvest

    Jennifer Presler from IlluminativeHarvest said 2 years ago

    very neat. Thanks

  • richardeasbey

    Richard Easbey said 2 years ago

    Is it just me, or is it time for these to make a comeback?

  • gardengate724

    Janell from HomeHearthGarden said 2 years ago

    Reminds me when I was little.

  • korenkwan

    Koren Kwan from GarasuWonderland said 1 year ago

    love it!

  • daynanienow

    Dayna Nienow said 322 days ago

    Manitowoc, Wisconsin, the home of the Evergleam is hosting "Evergleams on Eighth", a downtown Manitowoc event where storefront window displays will be filled with original aluminum Christmas trees (between 50-70 trees will be displayed), manufactured right here in Manitowoc in the 1960's. The free event will be held from November 19 (2015) until January 3rd (2016). Enjoy shopping downtown while viewing these awesome trees!

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