Tracing the roots of the artificial Christmas tree, we find they did not start out as being purple, nor did they start out costing the high dollars they do today.
The first artificial Christmas tree appeared in the Sears and Roebuck catalog. It had a wooden base, 25 branches, five candle attachments, and was decorated with red berries. The price for this tree was .23 cents.
By 1915, Sears and Roebuck offered artificial Christmas trees mounted in large white pots. The thick branches were covered with artificial foliage and the price had skyrocketed to an unbelievable .98 cents. In addition to the price of the artificial Christmas tree, the biggest change over the past few decades has been how the tree is put together once the consumer gets it home. Back then, the artificial trees consisted of many small pieces that had to be fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Dad's across the country spent many long, frustrating hours putting those kind together. Noonday's, the typical artificial Christmas tree has three parts to assemble and opens like an umbrella.
In the 1945 Sears and Roebuck Christmas catalog, the retailer was touting artificial trees with dark green, straw like yarn that was supposed to look like pine needles. In the 1950's, the green yarn gave way to what was deemed "glamorous" nylon net trees. The 60's ushered in the era of aluminum trees and tree color choices. Some readers will recall the silver or white aluminum trees, the branches were sparse, but your family was cool if you had one of these trees.
By 1968, manufacturers decided that the artificial trees should have a uniform shape on all sides. 1972 saw another color change in the trees, the green color became variegated to look more realistic. For those who did not want realistic looking trees, there was the new blue aluminum Christmas tree that could be chosen.
|vintage silver aluminum Christmas tree|
Today's options in artificial Christmas trees span the gamut. Consumers have choices ranging for traditional, realistic Douglas firs, to any color of their choosing, including purple. If you are not nostalgic for an old silver aluminum Christmas tree, you can probably find one at a thrift shop or on Ebay. The roots of the artificial Christmas tree runs deep, they have been around a long time and it appears they will be around for a long time to come.