evergleam christmas tree

I’m dreaming of an aluminum Christmas….Introduced in 1959 by the Aluminum Specialty Company in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, the ‘Evergleam’ tree lit Christmases of the Atomic Age with a garish yet charming sparkle.  I had to have one and found this 4′ tree on eBay a few years ago.  Did you know it’s ‘green’ to have a fake tree, especially a pre-owned one? Here’s a quick sequence of how easy it is to put together: DONE.  Since every branch is the same length, it goes up in a jiffy.  The shape of the tree is created by the increasing angles of the drilled holes in the trunk: genius.  Notice that the box says “deluxe stand” and then look at the photo… really?  The trees were often illuminated with a color wheel which was a light bulb behind 4 rotating color gels – I don’t have one (yet). Below are some vintage graphics found online on manufacturing and assembling:I love that they were such a drastic departure from the traditional cut-down live Christmas trees, that they represent the mid-century, the play on the word ‘evergreen’ and that they were made in the USA.  I laughed that a Sears catalog apparently read “Whether you decorate with blue or red balls . . . this exquisite tree is sure to be the talk of your neighborhood.”  By the mid/late-1960s the trees had gone out of style. But they’re a kitsch must-have 50 years later, and there’s even a book about them:  I was excited when my mother said her family had one in the early 60s and she sent me a photo:  Lucy in the Peanuts Christmas mentions these trees when she tells Charlie Brown “get the biggest aluminum tree you can find, maybe even painted pink!”  As a kid I wondered what ‘painted pink’ meant.  I’ve seen silver, gold, green, and pink on eBay over the years.  Pink is definitely the most rare – and most iconic of the commercial aspect of mid-century whimsy and what the holiday has become – but who cares – it’s awesome!   Merry Christmas!

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “evergleam christmas tree

  1. Ted

    No way I can’t believe mom had one! Too funny.

  2. David

    I sure wish someone was making these again. I want a new one just like this.

    • mcelroyarch

      @David – I’ve seen tinsel-style trees but not new ‘aluminum’ trees. Get yourself a new old one! It’ll be new to you at least, and still gleams after 50 years.

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