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What Were Artificial Christmas Trees Originally Made from?

The first widely manufactured artificial Christmas trees were made in 19th century Germany and were made with feathers dyed to resemble fir tree branches. Though goose feathers were the most commonly used medium, trees also were made with turkey, ostrich or even swan feathers. Today, most artificial trees are made with recycled materials, usually polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

More facts about Christmas trees:

  • Through the years there have been artificial Christmas trees made of almost every conceivable material, including aluminum, cardboard, glass, brush bristles and even fiber-optic cable.

  • Before the German-style feather trees became popular in the United States, most people who used wooden, tree-shaped pyramids painted green as their artificial Christmas trees. The pyramid-style trees were developed, perhaps appropriately, in the town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

  • Sales of artificial Christmas trees more than doubled between 2000 and 2010, and in 2004, about 60 percent of Americans had at least one artificial Christmas tree in their home.
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