Friday, December 4, 2015

SHINY-BRITE BALLS

I like everybody else, if you already haven't, will be decking the halls here at the Casa du Borghese very soon. I always like the decorating.... especially the tree. As I decorate, I'll remember where each and every ornament came from, remembering the past and the present, and those who are still here, or pasted on, and who gave them to me. And some of the ornaments I use are from my good friend, the Dame, and my grandmother. Some are very vintage, and are known as Shiny Brite balls. How many of you recall those???
 
Some of mine are STILL even in the ORGINAL BOXES! I have a ton of Shiny-Brite, not only that will be placed on the tree, but I will also mix with new balls to fill apothecary jars, bowls, and compotes. If there is one thing I enjoy, it's a Shiny Brite ball!
 
 
But what is the actual history of the Shiny-Brite?
The Shiny-Brite company produced the most popular Christmas tree ornaments in the United States throughout the 1940’s and ’50s. In 1937 Max Eckhardt established “Shiny-Brite” ornaments, working with the Corning Glass Company to mass produce glass Christmas ornaments. Eckhardt had been importing hand-blown glass balls from Germany since around 1907, but had the foresight to anticipate a disruption in his supply from the upcoming war. Corning adapted their process for making light bulbs to making clear glass ornaments, which were then shipped to Eckhardt’s factories to be decorated by hand.
 
 The fact that Shiny-Brite ornaments were an American-Made product was stressed as a selling point during World War II. Dating of the ornaments is often facilitated by studying the hook. The first Shiny-Brite ornaments had the traditional metal cap and loop, with the hook attached to the loop, from which the ornament was hung from the tree. Wartime production necessitated the replacement of the metal cap with a cardboard tab, from which the owner would use yarn or string to hang the ornament. These hangers firmly place the date of manufacture of the ornament to the early 1940’s. Following the war, Shiny-Brite introduced a line of ornaments with a newly designed metal hook that provided the user with two lengths of hanger. This arrangement was designed to allow the ornament to fill sparsely limbed areas of a natural tree. The increasing popularity of the aluminum Artificial Christmas tree, first manufactured in 1958, made this device far less attractive to the consumer, as an artificial tree had no gaps to be filled.  The demand for glass ornaments waned as plastic ornaments became more popular, ultimately bringing the Shiny-Brite company to close its doors in 1962. What a shame.
 
Some of my balls are so old, the color has a more "mercury glass" look to it, or are downright faded. But I love the vintage look it gives these gems. Of course, you already knew that shiny bright balls distracted me.

42 comments:

  1. When I was little, my grandmother's tree was filled with these! I think now were lucky if we have a dozen. This post kindles some good Christmas memories.

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  2. What a beautiful post....brought back great memories. I too have quite a few. This is why I enjoy your blog. Its a nice treat away from all the moral dilemma, political crap, and tragic news the media hounds us with. Thank you!

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    1. Thank. You dear, what a compliment.....im happy to provide an escape...if only for a few minutes.

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  3. I love Christmas ornaments and the vintage ones are absolutely beautiful. You have a wonderful collection.

    My father had loads of priceless antique ornaments - some over 100 years old. He eventually gave them to his brother (my uncle) - - and his brother wound up throwing them away!!!

    Worthless asshole relatives...........

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    1. Thanks for stopping in Jon! These are just images, I have not unveiled my balls yet!!!!! Threw them OUT!!!! Sacrilege!!!!!!!!

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    2. I'll eagerly await the unveiling of your balls.

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    3. and you'll know when there unveiled, you'll hear a thud hit the floor.

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  4. Ahhhhhhh, those were the days. We had a whole tree full when I was a kid. The plastic ones with the figurines I had forgotten about. What memories.

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  5. and the houseboyz tell me yours glow in the dark...(tee hee)...

    my parents have ORIGINAL BOXES of these ornaments too; many of the designs you picture hang on their tree. those were the days...

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    1. Glow in the dark. Its nice to read by light in bed! Do you know have the balls? Or did you parents scrap them?

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    2. my parents still have and use them, and have given some to my sister and some to my niece. so the shiny brights are still in the family.

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  6. We had tons of these, I was especially enamored of the concave ones.

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    1. Funny you mention that, I was too!!! Looked like jewels yo me, and thought they'd make great earrings. Should have seen some drag days coming then.

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  7. I always love your shiny balls! Lol. And I always look forward to your Christmas posts. :)

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    1. Thanks Amanda! I will have more coming and try not to spread the balls to thin.

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  8. What I like most about these ornaments is the dulled and patina that they obtain, which makes these balls so interesting and the feeling of Christmas's past.

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  9. I have already lost track how many times balls has been mentioned.

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  10. God! I just simply LOVE balls!! Oh, wait... we're discussing ornaments. ;-)

    We've got a huge basket full of those ornaments. The tree is now covered in Danbury Mint ornaments given to us my my M-I-L... But those oldie-but-goodie ornaments are still part of the decorating scheme.

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  11. I have a number of shiny bright balks myself, but looks like your ball collection is much bigger than mine. You could say I have shiny bright ball envy!

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    1. Balls not balks, I hate when I mis spell words as important as ball.

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    2. Welcome Fearsome Beard!!! Nice to see I'm not the only one with Shiny bright ball envy!!! So many sizes to toy with.

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  12. We went from the shoe filled with cock to a post filled with balls! I like where this is going! Cool post.

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    1. Yes, this post is heading south quick. Up next- How to Enjoy and Make the Most of Holiday Meaty Balls!

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  13. What a very shiny, sparkling post! Can't wait to see what you give us this season.

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  14. I just adore and love Shiny Brite balls! When I moved here my collection came with and I have several of these also, from generations before, some so worn you can see right through the glass.

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    1. Nice to see the tradition continue. Would be Christmas without some of those treasured balls.

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  15. Guido and I will be getting our balls out later this afternoon. Just saying.
    JP

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  16. And I suppose you think I'll be polishing all these balls too?

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  17. I haven't seen or heard the word balls this much since my last trip to the bathhouse!!!!!!

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  18. I got a ton of these two years ago after your post once on them. When my parents downsized, they were getting rid of most of their Christmas decorations and had tons of Shiny Brites. I took the whole lot, since my siblings didn't want them. I'll be doing my first tree with them this year. So you will be the reason I have these !!!!!

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  19. Pretty, pretty pretty! You have me in the decorate now!

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  20. I'm like you - I enjoy remembering where the ornaments came from (gifts from friends, 1st Christmas with Spouse, various trips we've taken, etc) as I decorate the tree. I also enjoy mixing the older, vintage, and 'not perfect' ornaments in with the newer, shinier ones. Happy holidays Mistress!!

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  21. I love all the shiny balls. I can't wait to see all your finery this year.

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  22. I love Shiny Brites. They're a Christmas icon. The pictures made me very happy today.

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  23. And I bet your balls are just so nice and round and beautiful.

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  24. Cool post. I have to respect them even more now, knowing the history of them. Here I though they were just junk fillers for trees when I was a kid. I will now look to them with more thought.

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  25. Oh yes. I looove this time of the year. Still have yet to get into the holiday spirit but, you're totally helping the cause with this post & those amazing photos. :)

    Thanks for that!

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  26. The only ones missing are your set of beauties!

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Go ahead darling, tell me something fabulous!

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