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Kitty Dunn

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A shiny aluminum Christmas tree!

aluminum treeIn the classic holiday special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown is given the task of picking out a Christmas tree for the holiday pageant. Loudmouth Lucy Van Pelt tells him to get a "big shiny, aluminum tree, maybe painted pink."  I always thought was some kind of sarcastic commentary about the commercialism of Christmas. It was only recently that I discovered that shiny aluminum Christmas trees were very popular in the 1960's, and that most of them were made in Wisconsin! My boyfriend Mike says his family even had an aluminum tree, and some kind of color wheel that lit it up and changed colors. I've never seen one in person...but they do sound pretty cool. If you'd like to get into the holiday spirit by walking through a forest of aluminum Christmas trees, head to the Wisconsin Historical Museum, now through January 9th. The exhibition, called Tis the Season, features aluminum trees of all shapes, sizes, and colors from the 1960s. That includes silver trees made by  The Aluminum Specialty Company of Manitowoc, Wisconsin. They  had been manufacturing aluminum toys for decades when they stumbled upon a new idea , the aluminum Christmas tree. They debuted it a toy fair in 1959..and it caught on with the public, big time, and were popular through the mid-60's. Now they're quite collectible. Find out more about the exhibit  here.

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12/07/2009 7:45AM
A shiny aluminum Christmas tree!
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12/07/2009 8:11AM
Donna
My aunt had one of those trees and she had the light wheel that changed the colors, thought it was cool as a kid but still liked our real tree and decorating it was half the fun. We don't do Christmas trees anymore, no kids or grandkids so we just have our little 3 foot lighted fake Christmas tree and that is good enough, we do the lights around the house, on the front porch and backyard fence so we try to look festive and then come Jan. 2nd, it all comes down. DBD
12/11/2009 6:51PM
Debbie
I sure do remember the aluminum trees! My sister is allergic to most pine trees so we grew up with artificial. Our main tree was a flocked white tree with the color wheel, but we had a second, smaller tree in another part of the house, the shiney silver one. A couple relatives also sported the sparkling trees. With all the glitter of the branches, the only ornaments I remember on them were single colored satin balls. When my mother passed away in 1999 we found these trees still in her attic, long ago replaced by the green artificial tree. Fond memories tempted us to hang on to the smaller alluminum one, but age had caught up with it. Too frail to keep. Thanks for bringing back a fond memory! DR
01/26/2010 2:03PM
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The author of blogs.1055triplem.com has written an excellent article. You have made your point and there is not much to argue about. It is like the following universal truth that you can not argue with: No matter how much you dumb down something, someoneout there is dumber. Thanks for the info.
10/22/2011 8:55AM
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