Christmas Tree Decorations A Hundred Years Ago

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Tuesday, December 24, 1912:  Cleaned this morning. Trimmed the tree this evening and await the coming of tomorrow’s dawn impatience.

1912 Christmas treeLightweight glass balls on tinsel strands gives the effect.

Ladies Home Journal (December, 1911)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

It’s almost Christmas!

What did the Muffly’s trimmed tree look like?

1912 Christmas treeThe butterflies are of spun glass in myriad colors and marking. The birds are lifelike celluloid models.

Christmas tree a hundred years agoThe tree of snow is the latest contribution to the science of Christmas festivities. The tree is bleached white, made fireproof, and chemically preserved so that it can be used year after year, thereby aiding the campaign against the devastation of our evergreens. The decorations of rose garlands is as unusual as the tree, and the crimson of the flowers forms a brilliant contrast to the dazzling whiteness.

Ladies Home Journal (December, 1911)

Who would have guessed that some people had reusable trees a hundred years ago!!

6 Responses

  1. I have to go for the second one. I am intrigued by the fact that they had reusable trees back then. I wonder if the same or similar process is still in use.

  2. How did they bleach it? That is very cool!

  3. Wow that third ad is very surprising…I would have never guess that they had fire resistant, white trees. I always think of everyone then having a real tree.

  4. Hi, I just wanted to let you know that your blog post is listed in today’s Fab Finds post at

  5. Love reading posts. But wondering what size the above trees were?

  6. […] Christmas Tree Decorations a Hundred Years Ago […]

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