In 1959 one of the most iconic pieces of mid-century Christmas decorations was introduced, the aluminum Christmas tree. Once it stepped on the scene, many companies ventured to produce variants, but one was king, Evergleam. In The Evergleam Book, 60th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, author Theron Georges dives into the origins of the aluminum tree, its development, various tree types, and even gives you advice on shopping for and taking care of your aluminum tree.
Part history book, part guide book, The Evergleam Book provides its readers with the origin story of the aluminum tree and all of the various trees and items that bore the “Evergleam” name. Rich with photos, both vintage and contemporary, the book provides everything one would need to now about Evergleam and caring for an aluminum tree, yes I said “caring” they are very unique in that they need proper care when it comes to putting them up, taking them down, and storing them.
The Aluminum Specialty Company was behind the name Evergleam, and they produced many different trees. Within the book are images of each of the different types of trees that were produced, along with their specs, making this the perfect guide book when trying to find out what type of tree you may have just bought.
For being so iconic, there is actually very little research done on the subject of aluminum Christmas trees, and that is the one of the catalysts for Georges in writing the book. In fact, prior to becoming aware of this book, I knew only of one book on aluminum trees, Season’s Gleamings. Which, while good and I highly recommend, is more of an art book rather than a book that provides information. For The Evergleam BookGeorges traveled to the birthplace of the aluminum tree, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, where he interviewed many of the people who were responsible for creating Evergleam trees, and the stories they shared are delightful, finally giving insight into the development of the aluminum tree.
Georges is a wealth of information, and his passion for the aluminum trees is evident in his book. I especially enjoyed some of his more personal stories about his searches for trees and his experience restoring incomplete trees. His writing is thoughtful and fun, while also being extremely educational and helpful.
In addition to being very informative, the book is just plain pretty. It is both bold and nostalgic, combining graphic images from vintage ephemera with a scrapbook style that makes every page a work of art.
If you’ve been reading the blog for at least the last year, then you know I have a passion for Christmas music, and I especially enjoyed that Georges created a Spotify playlist to accompany the reader. The music helps to personify the trees, as well as gives for those who grew up with storybooks that had accompanying records, or for my generation, tapes, a feeling of nostalgia.
Beginning later this month Georges is putting on Space Age Christmas Trees – The Exhibit, starting November 29 at 1940 Air Terminal Museum, in Houston, Texas. The exhibit ends January 3, 2020. The exhibit is made up of trees from Georges’ personal collection, and will include half Evergream trees, and half ones from other manufacturers, including many rare trees. Additionally, there will be a mock “Space Age Mid-Mod Holiday Pad” filled with iconic mid-century modern furnishings, perfect for selfies. So if you live in or near Houston, or are planning on visiting this holiday season, I strongly encourage you to go! Especially because I don’t think we can swing attending! Yes, I am crushed.
November 2020 Update: Georges and other aluminum tree lovers have teamed up to create another marvelous exhibit at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum again which goes through January 3, 2021! Learn more on their website.
From beginning to end, I utterly enjoyed The Evergleam Book, and deem it an absolute must have for anyone interested in aluminum trees.
You can purchase The Evergleam Book on its website here.
Disclaimer: I was approached by the author, Theron Georges, to write a review of The Evergleam Book, and received a copy free of charge. However, this is a book I strongly support regardless. This post also contains an affiliate link for Season’s Gleamings.