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4 Things You Might Not Know About Tinsel

Apr. 13, 2021

4 Things You Might Not Know About Tinsel

Tinsel Suppliers will share this article with you.

As you decorate your Christmas tree, take a moment to read about the fascinating history of popular Christmas decorations.

Christmas in the 1950s and 1960s was much brighter. The sparkling aluminum Christmas tree in the American living room-illuminated by a rotating color wheel in blue, green and red. These trendy fake trees were a Midwestern creation and were first manufactured in Chicago in 1955. They have been popular for ten years, and the natural evergreens that appeared in the 1965’s Charlie Brown Christmas are believed to have wiped out this trend.

These glittering tanninbaum ornaments are of course tinsel. Perhaps no holiday decoration can capture the retro Christmas better than tinsel. Many of us have shared memories of making folds with thin, reflective tapes with our families. Then, some of us had to cut our hair one by one to save for the next year. On Happy Days, the Christmas tree at Cunningham's house is covered in silvery tinsel.

Maybe you nostalgic people still use these things. However, it is not the same material of our youth. In fact, it has often changed over the centuries. Yes, it has been so long. Here are some interesting facts about vintage decoration.

1. It was invented as early as 1610

It should not be surprising that Germany, especially Nuremberg, the country that created the Christmas tree, also invented tinsel as an ornament. What might surprise you is how long ago it was. Tinsel can be traced back to the Renaissance, the word itself comes from French estincelle (spark). The Oxford English Dictionary believes that the usage of "tinsel" can be traced back to the 1590s. I don't know which genius thought to drape some on a fir tree. Some other historical records only trace Xmas tinsel back to the 1840s.

2. It was originally made of silver

Of course the Germans in the 17th century were not stingy when using tinsel. Although it sounds fancy to use real silver to make tinsel, anyone who owns silverware will tell you that it has a disadvantage, especially when you put the silverware near the candle flame-it will lose its luster and become black. Because it is very time-consuming to rub strands of tinsel with Tarn-X, if not impossible, the material was eventually replaced with aluminum. Those purists can still buy old-fashioned silver tinsel from their hometown on Etsy.

3. Popular versions of the 20th century contained lead until 1972

As you saw in a newspaper article in November 1972, the FDA in August 1971 determined that tinsel was "an unnecessary danger to children with symptoms of lead poisoning." Manufacturers switched to lead foil in the 20th century to prevent gloss and weight loss. However, it was removed before Christmas in 1972. Today, this material is made of lighter plastic or polyester film, if you want to know why it doesn’t hang like it used to.

4. The word "Tinseltown" can only be traced back to 1972

Strangely, the nickname "Tinseltown" can only be traced back to 40 years ago, not to the silver age of Hollywood. Some ophthalmology websites trace the name back to 1972, while others claim to be 1975. In modern usage, we tend to forget that the word "Tinseltown" is originally derogatory. Now that we have a warm and vague nostalgia feelings for tinsel, the term is not so cruel.


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