When I was a kid, my parents being antique dealers always had a hodge podge of different antique decorations for the holidays. They were from the s and s. Shiny Brite ornaments were created by American businessman Max Eckardt in The inside of the bulb was coated in silver nitrate giving the decorations a, well, bright and shiny look. They eventually came in a large variety of colours including classic red and green, purples, pinks and icy blues. The colours could be solid or patterned. They also came in a large variety of shapes including balls, tear drops, icicles, finials and pinecones.
The War In My Kitchen
Did you hear that?! It’s the sound of me peeling out of my driveway on my way to your house!! Major Shiny Brite envy right now
Jan 23, – Dating+Shiny+Brite+Ornaments | Glass Pine Cone Christmas Ornaments s to s from.
Approximate dimensions: Each ornament measures 3 inches in diameter. Ornaments will be packed with care and ship fully insured. In German-born businessman Max Eckardt and his brother Ernst opened a factory in their native Oberlind, Germany, where their relatives and employees silvered glass ornaments and decorated them by hand. In the late ‘s, with the possibility of war on the horizon, Eckardt was concerned that the supply of German ornaments to the United States would be impacted.
In , Eckardt and a representative from F. Woolworth approached the Corning Glass Company with an idea to produce glass ornaments in the United States by modifying Corning’s glass ribbon machines, which were used to make light bulbs. Eckardt named the new venture Shiny Brite, a reference to the silver nitrate coating applied to the ornaments to give them their distinctive reflective finish. Eckart’s instincts proved correct, as import of German ornaments ceased with the onset of World War II and did not resume until the mid’s.
In December, , the first American Shiny Brite ornaments were mass-produced using Corning’s machinery, with Woolworth’s placing an order for , that were sold in their stores for two to ten cents each. Eckardt built four plants in New Jersey where the glass ornaments produced by Corning were silvered, lacquered, and painted and subsequently sold throughout the United States. Even during wartime, when the materials used to decorate the ornaments changed due to scarcity of resources, Shiny Brite ornaments persisted as a mainstay of American Christmas tree decorating, reaching their heyday in the late ‘s.
Their popularity waned by the ‘s with the introduction of aluminum and artificial Christmas trees as well as the use of cheaper materials including plastic. Original, vintage Shiny Brite ornaments remain popular with avid collectors.
The Story Behind Vintage “Shiny Brite” Christmas Ornaments
In particular, Shiny Brite? The shapes and colors really appeal to me. And, they seem to go with any style of decorations. They look just as appealing on a flocked tree, tinsel tree or traditional tree.
A lot of 6 red vintage large mercury glass Shiny Brite Christmas ornaments still Believed to date to the s or early s as there is no zip code showing on.
The Shiny Brite company produced the most popular Christmas tree ornaments in the United States throughout the s and s. In , Max Eckardt established Shiny Brite ornaments, working with the Corning Glass company to mass-produce glass Christmas ornaments. Eckardt had been importing hand- blown glass balls from Germany since around , but had the foresight to anticipate a disruption in his supply from the upcoming war. Corning adapted their process for making light bulbs to making clear glass ornaments, which were then shipped to Eckardt’s factories to be decorated by hand.
Dating of the ornaments is often facilitated by studying the hook. The first Shiny Brite ornaments had the traditional metal cap and loop, with the hook attached to the loop, from which the ornament was hung from the tree. Wartime production necessitated the replacement of the metal cap with a cardboard tab, from which the owner would use yarn or string to hang the ornament.
These hangers firmly place the date of manufacture of the ornament to the early s. Following the war, Shiny Brite introduced a line of ornaments with a newly designed metal hook that provided the user with two lengths of hanger. The long hook traveled through the center of the ornament and exited the bottom, where it attached to the foot of the ornament. This provided the “short” hanger. Unlatched from the bottom, the entire length of the hook was available, allowing the ornament to dangle at a greater distance from the tree limb to which it was attached.
This arrangement was designed to allow the ornament to fill sparsely limbed areas of a natural tree.
Vintage Christmas Decorations
Although the word kugel means “round ball” in German, original kugels were also made in the shape of grapes, apples, pears, pine cones, berries, tear drops and balls with melon-style ribs. Original kugels are generally lined inside with silver. The outside colors are red, cobalt, blue, green, silver, gold and amethyst. There is a hole in the top of each ornament which is concealed by a brass cap.
Caps may or may not have an embossed design.
Personalized Ornaments. Christopher Radko Christmas Ornaments, Set of 9 Shiny Brite Jubilant Jolly Carryover Shapes Classic Christmas. Saved from dillards.
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Exhibitors selling point during the united states, germany in so they would predate wwii. How much those old shiny brite ornaments shiny brite mica snow. Has been an ornament with naughty people you’d like.
6 Ornaments Every Collector Should Add to Their Collection
One of my most favorite traditions of Christmas is decorating two trees in my home with vintage Shiny Brite ornaments. I jam-pack the trees full and the light they give off shines throughout the room and into the darkness outside the windows. I love the story behind the American company and how the war lent to its success.
Eckardt had been importing hand-blown glass balls from Germany since , but had the foresight to anticipate a disruption in his supply from the upcoming war.
The Shiny Brite story begins after World War I with Max Eckardt, Stateside, Corning continued to crank out Shiny Brite ornaments—by the s, and Grandmother’s Shiny Brite ornaments dating back from the 30’s on up.
Indent: Originally designed to catch and reflect the candlelight of Victorian Christmas trees, fancy indented shapes had a resurgence in the s when this groovy, Atomic Age number debuted. They fell out of favor the following decade when more subdued looks became popular. Cardboard Cap: World War II rationing restricted the use of metal, so ornaments made during that period have now-coveted cardboard caps and string hangers. They also featured simpler designs, lacking the shiny “silvered” interior of pre-war glass bulbs.
Cotton: Constructed from cotton batting, this style, popular from the s to the s, is virtually unbreakable and was often given to children for decoration and play. This skier’s porcelain face indicates it was manufactured by noted firm Heubach, making it one of the most des-irable types of cottons.
Christmas in July ~ Shiny Brite Ornaments
I have several of my grandmother’s and my husband’s grandmother’s :. What a wonderful piece of history! I remember these ornaments so well. I can see myself admiring these colorful, shiny bulbs and choosing which one to hang on the tree next! Loved these all through my childhood. My 91 yr old Mother still has them in the Shiny Brite boxes!
Christopher Radko Ornaments. View Pattern Christopher Radko Christmas Ornament. View Pattern Shiny Brite Ornaments.
Rabid collectors like us can never get enough Christopher Radko. This section of our website is for those Radkoholics who like to know as much as possible about the man known as “The Czar of Christmas Present” and the self-proclaimed “Ralph Lauren of Christmas” and the company he built and later sold. Some of these articles are more than 20 years old, but all of them have interesting information. For some of you, this is all old news, but might be a walk down memory lane, for newcomers, it’s a walk through the story of Christopher Radko through the years.
These links will open in a new window, but don’t forget to come back and order something! Merry Christmas. The revived taste for traditional tree trimmings — pushed by department stores, catalogues and this year by Vice President Al Gore, whose Christmas tree is adorned with handmade European ornaments — comes from an old art that is now produced on a commercial basis in Poland and the Czech Republic. No, it’s not Santa.
Radko in the News
Hello and happy vintage holidays, everyone!!! Keep reading after the jump for great vintage Christmas tree decoration suggestions that you can buy right now on Etsy and Ebay. Plus, background on how and why Americans decorated their Christmas trees the way they did in the s, s and s! Christmas trees of the s varied in size and shape.
Acorn shaped ornaments. Another way to help date your ornaments are by the caps. Shiny Brite, during wartime, had cardboard caps to replace.
Christmas is upon us! This season is a time for all vintage and antique lovers to rejoice. Vintage Christmas is a holiday all its own. The Christmas ornaments and decorations from bygone eras can lend a nostalgic, cozy feel to any home. Holiday items tend to be something that people accumulate over time and, whatever the reason for the estate sale, these items are likely to be a part of the inventory-sometimes for a great bargain.
Whether you are shopping for gifts for other nostalgic Christmas-lovers or decorations for your own home, vintage Christmas ornaments and decorations make beautiful, high-quality heirlooms. Martin says that quality and character make vintage ornaments far superior to modern ones. For example, during the Art Deco period, ornaments often contained linear and geometric elements.