Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Contemplating The Tinsels Of Old

We live in a world deprived of metal. Today, Christmas tree tinsel is made from toxic PVC vinyl. But originally, tinsel strips were cut from real silver. However, that was only affordable for a snooty few. So tinsel makers began making it from cheaper metal alloys, and by the 1920's, American Christmas trees were lousy with tinsel. Back then the tinsel even contained lead so it would hang better. Then in the 50's, manufacturers switched to making tinsel out of aluminized paper. A nice idea, except when it caught fire sitting next to the hot tree lights. Hence, the development of "fireproof" tinsel, as seen here. If you are trying to get across the idea that your tinsel won't burst into flame, is "Doubl-Glo" really the best branding choice?

The fireproof tinsel allowed further mass-marketing, and a continuation of questionable packaging concepts. Take the *Brite Star* product, for example. Why do we see Santa lingering outside the window? What's he doing out there? Why doesn't he get on with it? Perhaps this somewhat creepy Santa is just checking to make sure the family's tree has not burst into flame. After all, notice that *Brite Star* icicles do not bear the same Fireproof statement as the others.

Beyond the world of tinsel, some vintage ornaments are just weird. This tree ornament, made from spun cotton, looks like something wasps would fly out of.


  1. oh this is right up your alley, as you embrace the past with gusto. ah well, a little nostalgia is good. i shall await your next post, which will undoubtedly be named, "contemplating my navel"

  2. This ornament is for nostalgia my birth pod!

  3. love this post. my tree is "lousy with tinsel"...and it shall always be so adorned.

  4. Sue, I'm glad to know your tree is lousy with tinsel! I want mine to be too. Didn't get the right preps in order. Maybe next year.

    Outer Space Alien ----I just knew you had a birth pod, and it would look something like this!