Tuesday, December 17, 2019

A Christmas Tree Story

Well, let’s begin with age! This tree is either 61 years old or 66 years old. You read that right – you are looking at a Christmas tree that is over 60 years old!

I would like to say there is some romantic background here or something more exciting, perhaps a legacy tree that was passed from generation to generation, but the truth is I bought it through an ad on Craig’s List a few years ago – before folks selling used items moved over to Facebook.

Unfortunately, no clues to share on the history of this tree other than the box was original and disintegrating badly by the time I bought it. It was so falling apart that the tree box went into another box just to hold everything together. The original box had a manufacturer's date that appeared to be 1953 – making the tree 66 years old – though recent research points more toward 1958. No matter, that is a long time for any Christmas tree to hang around and remain in mint condition.

The tree was manufactured in Wisconsin by the Evergleam Company. There is a great article about Evergleam written by Dave Hoekstra (1) and another by the Manitowoc County Historical Society (2). It goes back to a time when manufacturing in America was the norm and aluminum Christmas trees have a history of their own in that era – more can be found in Wikipedia (3). Aluminum trees were “the rage” for quite a while in homes across America and the American spirit of competitiveness kicked in creating a market for trees having under 100 branches to those with over 400 branches and everything in between depending on the height of the tree. There was an appliance - furniture retailer in Chicagoland known as Polk Brothers (now gone) and it’s leader, Sol Polk known for his marketing savvy who popularized aluminum trees and plastic Santa’s that were about 5 feet tall (4)– by making either available for $5 with a purchase!

Aluminum tree popularity continued and folks tried hard to make theirs “different”. The trees came with a warning not to use string lights that were so popular on “live” trees – and some folks were shocked to find out that was good advice!

The lighting of the day was typically a flood light. The flood light was either white, a static color or even more popular was a rotating wheel that caused the tree to change color in a slow continuous cycle. Today, I create that effect with a low energy led.

And then there was the pink aluminum Christmas tree – check an article by WUWM (5) from Milwaukee. You can buy aluminum trees today on eBay (6) and Esty (7).

Sorry, my tree is not for sale! None of the links below are monetized, so if you want to read more, all the links you need are below.

Hope y’all have a very Merry Christmas – only about a week to go!


(1) http://www.davehoekstra.com/2018/12/05/imy-first-evergleam-christmas-tree/

(2) https://www.manitowoccountyhistory.org/programs/aluminumtrees

(3) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminum_Christmas_tree


(4) https://www.google.com/search?q=polk+bros+christmas+tree&rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS869US869&sxsrf=ACYBGNRcIMzT57SAYgMRMZX3YI0eTvVtHg:1575783021616&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=rqNWKSmjh5lXsM%253A%252Ct3ESx6jkHIwQ3M%252C_&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kRuNERK3xmugQUIavustFysu5e6Cw&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj2_fuZqaXmAhVCcq0KHS2VDBMQ9QEwAnoECAoQDA#imgrc=_&vet=1

(5) https://www.wuwm.com/post/remember-aluminum-trees-wisconsin-made-evergleams-are-making-comeback#stream/0

(6) https://www.ebay.com/b/Aluminium-Christmas-Tree/33849/bn_55186952?rt=nc&_pgn=5

(7) https://www.etsy.com/market/evergleam

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