When you think of vintage tree ornaments, there is a good chance that you are seeing Shiny-Brite ornaments in your mind. The Shiny-Brite company produced the most popular tree ornaments throughout the 1940s and 1950s.
According to Wikipedia, Max Eckardt started “Shiny-Bright” in 1937 with an eye toward mass production. Prior to 1937, he had imported hand-blown glass balls from Germany. Anticipating a supply disruption due to war, Eckardt worked closely with Corning Glass Company. Corning adapted their light bulb manufacturing process to make clear glass ornaments that were shipped to Eckardt’s four New Jersey factories to be decorated by hand. The fact that the ornaments were completely made in America was used as an effective selling point during World War II.
Alas, by the late 1950s, plastic ornaments gained favor and Shiny-Brite closed in 1962. Christopher Radko has reissued Shiny-Brite’s most popular ornaments since 2001.