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How Toilet Brushes Impacted Artificial Christmas Tree Design

Yup, you read that right folks. Curiously, there is a connection, and it’s kinda fascinating!

It all started in Germany.

In the 1880’s, out of concern for deforestation (seeing as there were no artificial Christmas trees yet), Germans introduced artificial Christmas trees made of goose feathers. Goose feathers were dyed green, split, and attached to dowels. While they were nice, they weren’t very sturdy and it couldn’t support the weight of a lot of ornaments.

Here’s where it gets interesting.

In the 1900’s, a toilet brush company in the U.S. named the Addis Brush Company, decided it could “build a better mousetrap”. So they figured out a way to use toilet brush “technology”, such as it was, to make an artificial Christmas tree that could hold more weight, and subsequently more ornaments, than goose feather treas. And voila! The birth of the modern artificial Christmas tree! If you think about it, artificial trees do have a slight toilet brush look, don’t they?

The 1960’s brought on the kitsch!

To follow the evolution of the artificial tree all the way through, by the 1960’s silver aluminum trees were all the rage. If you’ve ever seen one of these trees, they were awesome in the most kitschy retro way possible! They had a color wheel of rotating light under the tree so the lights changed colors and reflected off the silver of the aluminum.

Today, we have artificial trees that look real and even have sprays that make them smell real!

There you have it! I bet you’ll never look at an artificial Christmas tree the same way again!

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday!


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