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Thread: Christmas Tree's of the 50's

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    :tree: Christmas Tree's of the 50's

    I;m not a child of the fifties but I remember seeing pictures that my parents had of their Xmas tree's back then.I like those tree's.were all the trees sparse like that or were there different types also? If you ever watched the Bishops Wife( With Cary Grant) that;s the type of tree I'm referring to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tlazer View Post
    I;m not a child of the fifties but I remember seeing pictures that my parents had of their Xmas tree's back then.I like those tree's.were all the trees sparse like that or were there different types also? If you ever watched the Bishops Wife( With Cary Grant) that;s the type of tree I'm referring to.
    No, they weren't all like that. My grandparents and my aunt had tabletop artificial trees. My stepfather didn't want my mother to buy a fresh cut tree. We had a Japanese yew in a pot one year. It was weird. I was happy when he was gone and she bought the kind of tree you're talking about. But the next year(1959/60?) she bought a lop-sided Scotch pine and her three oldest kids never let her live that down. We reminded her every year not to get that kind again. At school in Florida, we had some pretty sorry looking long-needled pines(worse than Scotch pines). So in the sixties it was back to the beautiful sparse short-needled trees; I think the growers must have trimmed the rows of in between branches as the trees were growing. By 1970 everyone had full, fat trees.

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    I was born in the 50's but I don't remember anything about it, really. But, as far back as I can remember, most people seemed to like Scotch pines, but we always got something my mother called a 'double balsam.' She said this was different from a 'single balsam' because the needles went all the way around each little branch on the double. Now, these were not quite as sparse as the one in "The Bishop's Wife," but were certainly much sparser than a Scotch pine. My mother taught us the beauty of being able to hang ornaments on the inside of the tree as well as the outside; it was magical for me as a child because everywhere you looked, there was something new to explore that caught your eye and imagination. And my parents always used the mini-lights; well, from what I recall. It seemed that the folks who had the Scotch pines liked to use the big lights, the C 7's and/or C9's. And because the Scotch pines were thick, the ornaments seemed like they were just draped on. Regarding balsam fir trees; you can't find one like you used to; for a long time now, they shear them so they are very thick and not nearly as pretty, in my opinion. Anyway, I do like the way Christmas trees used to look, ok not the Scotch Pines, but the ones we had in the '50's and '60's and like the one in that movie. By the way, I have searched many times for 'double balsams' and it seems there is no such thing anymore. Even if you google it, nothing comes up.

  4. #4
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    Bottom of page 25 of "Share your photos!"; my last year's tree...that's probably what you're refering to. Many folks here in Europe still have these kinds of trees because of the traditional look.

    Here are some links you might like:

    http://www.gymnasium-meschede.de/pro...Tannenbaum.jpg

    http://www.feiertaginfos.de/wp-conte...nachtsbaum.jpg

    http://www.okej.de/img/wordpress/wei...sbaum_2007.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by steph535 View Post
    I was born in the 50's but I don't remember anything about it, really. But, as far back as I can remember, most people seemed to like Scotch pines, but we always got something my mother called a 'double balsam.' She said this was different from a 'single balsam' because the needles went all the way around each little branch on the double. Now, these were not quite as sparse as the one in "The Bishop's Wife," but were certainly much sparser than a Scotch pine. My mother taught us the beauty of being able to hang ornaments on the inside of the tree as well as the outside; it was magical for me as a child because everywhere you looked, there was something new to explore that caught your eye and imagination. And my parents always used the mini-lights; well, from what I recall. It seemed that the folks who had the Scotch pines liked to use the big lights, the C 7's and/or C9's. And because the Scotch pines were thick, the ornaments seemed like they were just draped on. Regarding balsam fir trees; you can't find one like you used to; for a long time now, they shear them so they are very thick and not nearly as pretty, in my opinion. Anyway, I do like the way Christmas trees used to look, ok not the Scotch Pines, but the ones we had in the '50's and '60's and like the one in that movie. By the way, I have searched many times for 'double balsams' and it seems there is no such thing anymore. Even if you google it, nothing comes up.
    A Douglas fir (not a true fir) has dark green or blue green needles that radiate out in all directions from the branch. They are shipped to areas not subject to intense freezing conditions so I imagine they have been popular in Florida. One reason they shear them is to look for plant diseases and insects.

    My mother always used her C-7 lights on the fir trees that she bought in Florida, Virginia, and New Jersey.

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    I have always missed the simplicity of that imperfect tree of years ago - we went to artificial trees very early on - early 70's for numerous reasons but mostly safety. I have found that over the years if you use the same tree you end up decorating it the same (if you use the same ornaments) . I tend to choose artificial trees that have the wider branch spacing and short needles like the older live trees because I want the ornaments to be the star of my tree not the tree itself. When it all comes down to it I think every Christmas is beautiful if decorated with love ......

    Lynne

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    Hope the recession doesn't affect the number of gifts you are expecting.. lol
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    marshmallowworld, douglas firs are very lovely trees, and I have had some of those, back when I used to get a real tree. I would say the "double balsams" (my mom called them that) were most like the frasier fir of today, only not as full. The needles on a douglas fir are longer than the ones on the trees I grew up with. Also, I grew up in Michigan. I have only been in Florida a few years. And, I did not know all those reasons for shearing, so thanks for the info, it is interesting. I had been told some years ago that it is done to make the tree grow thicker, because most people don't like the sparse trees.

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    Quote Originally Posted by m4816k View Post
    Bottom of page 25 of "Share your photos!"; my last year's tree...that's probably what you're refering to. Many folks here in Europe still have these kinds of trees because of the traditional look.

    Here are some links you might like:

    http://www.gymnasium-meschede.de/pro...Tannenbaum.jpg

    http://www.feiertaginfos.de/wp-conte...nachtsbaum.jpg

    http://www.okej.de/img/wordpress/wei...sbaum_2007.jpg
    thanks for the links I love those types of trees. I would love a real tree but who can afford $40.00 for a tree. plus I put mine up in October so real ones wouldn't hold up that long!
    Wishing you many hot cocoa mornings and firesky nights throughout the new year!




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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by steph535 View Post
    marshmallowworld, douglas firs are very lovely trees, and I have had some of those, back when I used to get a real tree. I would say the "double balsams" (my mom called them that) were most like the frasier fir of today, only not as full. The needles on a douglas fir are longer than the ones on the trees I grew up with. Also, I grew up in Michigan. I have only been in Florida a few years. And, I did not know all those reasons for shearing, so thanks for the info, it is interesting. I had been told some years ago that it is done to make the tree grow thicker, because most people don't like the sparse trees.
    Well, I believe you are absolutely right about the shearing making a fuller tree. It probably has a double purpose.

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