Museum Monday: aluminum Christmas Trees

Aluminum

Heading to Wisconsin this holiday season?

If you are, be sure to stop by the Wisconsin Historical Museum in Madison to see the largest exhibit of silver, pink, gold and green Evergleam aluminum Christmas trees.

Created by the Aluminum Specialty Company of Manitowoc, WI, in partnership with a company that had patented some of the design elements such as paper tube for storing branches, more than a million Evergleam trees were sold during the 1960s.

According to the museum:

Aluminum trees quickly found their place in contemporary popular culture and soon attracted the attention of critics who proclaimed them symbols of the commercialism of Christmas. In the television special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965), Lucy wanted “the biggest aluminum tree [Charlie Brown] could find, maybe even painted pink.” Charlie ultimately selected a real, but skimpy tree because it better reflected his view of the true spirit of Christmas.

And here’s an interesting tidbit:  the museum notes that branches on Evergleam aluminum Christmas trees have a connection to a military item from World War II:

“American airplanes dropped tiny strips of metal, called chaff, to block enemy radar. Evergleams utilized similar finely cut foil, which could be easily twisted into various forms.”

pink aluminum

 

’tis the Season – an exhibit of aluminum Christmas trees will be on display at the Wisconsin Historical Museum in Madison through January 11, 2014.