MADISON (WKOW) -- A current exhibit details the rise, fall and comeback of the Evergleam, a brand name of aluminum trees made in Manitowoc.
The Wisconsin Historical Museum has more than 20 Evergleams on display until January 11. They range from two-foot table top trees to an eight-foot gold tree. The trees also come in various colors such as silver, green and pink. Curator Joseph Kapler placed colorful, rotating lights beneath some of the silver tinsel trees, which reflect light the best.
Aluminum trees became popular in the 1960s, when manufacturers were trying to attract housewives to the product. Their tactics were sexist, but effective: manufacturers changed the packaging to be more compact, and housed each tinsel branch in a paper sleeve instead of wood to make the box lighter, according to Kapler. "The boxes were much smaller so easy to store, and a tenth of the weight," he said.
During the next decades, Evergleams fell out of favor when more people starting buying real Christmas trees. However, looking for aluminum Christmas trees on Ebay shows their recent rise in popularity. A search on Monday yielded nearly 1,000 aluminum Christmas trees on the auction site, with a range of prices from $20.
Some people are bidding up to $1,800 for the rare pink trees. The Wisconsin Historical Museum has one six-foot pink tree that they bought for $1,000 about eight years ago. The pink trees have also become coveted because of A Charlie Brown Christmas Special, in which Lucy asks for an aluminum tree "perhaps in pink."
For more information about the exhibit, click here.
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