Real or artificial? This question was faced by many American families in the late 1950s through the '60s when decorating for the holiday season. Advertisers extolled the virtues of low-maintenance artificial Christmas trees over cut trees: no messy needles, no allergies, no drying out & creating a fire hazard & a lengthened display time. Although the aluminum tree did not use electric light bulbs, a free-standing electric wheel placed nearby would rotate & reflect seasonal colors-usually blue, green, gold & red. Besides the standard silver (or aluminum) color, artificial trees could be purchased in blue, pink, white or "flocked" green. Regardless whether it was real or artificial, the Christmas tree would yearly assume a prominent location in the home-usually in the living room near a "picture window" where it could be seen by the public as well as enjoyed by the family.
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
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