Christmas Tree Fun Facts
It is not commonly known that artificial Christmas trees began in the Middle Ages in Germany. It was not until the 19th and 20th centuries that artificial Christmas trees became popular in other countries thanks to the invention of new and creative trees. It began with feathers, followed by animal bristles, aluminium, plastic, and then optical fibres. Discover the stages of the evolution of the artificial Christmas tree shared by christmas decorators from NYC:
Lightstock – a poor man’s Christmas tree!
In the Middle Ages, sculptors in Germany prayed the first lightstock. Pyramid-shaped stand made of 2-5 wooden rods and 3 shelves for candles and Christmas figurines. Some time later they attached a gear to the upper part of the middle rod. As the heat of the candles grew, the candle rotated with a gear wheel and shelves, creating a stunning show. Small candlesticks were quickly placed next to Christmas trees. However, many poor sculptors were unable to afford Christmas trees and therefore the lightstock became known as the poor man’s Christmas tree. Pyramids and pyramids in the form in which they are now known are a tradition in Dresden, Germany, which continues to this day.
The first artificial trees made of green geese feathers!
Originating in Germany in the 1880s, green coloured goose feathers are considered to be the first artificial Christmas trees in the modern world. The reason for the creation of feathers made of wire branches was that the Germans were concerned about deforestation associated with the harvesting of trees. Artificial trees therefore became popular in the USA at the beginning of the 20th century. The branches were widely spaced so that the candles on the trees (which was popular before the emergence of electric lights) had enough space not to cause a fire. Fires were a big problem in the case of early trees with candles placed on them. Often artificial red berries were placed on feather branches, which served as candlesticks. Tree sizes in department stores ranged from 2 inches to 98 inches. Today, many of these trees are valuable historical collectors’ items.
Christmas trees made of animal hair – bristle brush
The first artificial animal hair tree was created in 1930 in the USA. Hair was dyed green and these trees became popular not only in the USA but also in Great Britain. They soon replaced the feathers because the trees were not so flammable and could accommodate heavier ornaments.
Aluminium Christmas trees
In the USA in 1958 the first aluminium trees were created. They became very popular until the 1970s. A negative image of these trees appeared in 1965, when “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was broadcast for the first time, which should be regarded as a decrease in sales.
Plastic Christmas trees
Mostly made of PVC, they are fireproof but not fireproof and most of these trees are produced in China. The PVC used can be a potential source of hazardous lead – the labels must be read carefully. The Addis Brush Company (which produced brushes for toilet bowls) made the first counterfeit plastic Christmas trees. Some say that the first plastic trees were giant green toilet brushes!
Fibre optic Christmas trees
This is a new design breed of Christmas tree. The optical fibre trees are made of flexible, transparent glass fibre (silica) in the shape of bands of various sizes of human hair. These fibers transmit light between the two ends of the fibers to create a magical arrangement of white or colored light. Some fiber optic trees resemble traditional Christmas trees, while others appear completely in light.