Vintage Shiny-Brite Tree Ornaments

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.


Shiny Brite Ornament Box

Shiny Brite Ornament Box; Image courtesy of TraciNicole on


Shiny Brite Ornament Box
Vintage 1950s Ornaments

Vintage 1950s Ornaments; Image courtesy of Crafty Beaver on

Vintage Shiny Brite Ornaments 3

Vintage Shiny Brite Ornaments 3; Image courtesy of Dulcedo Blog on

Source: via Suzzanne on Pinterest

Do you have a collection of Shiny-Brite ornaments?  Do you hang them on your tree or have you repurposed them for something else like an ornament wreath?

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Dr. Julie-Ann

I'm Dr. Julie-Ann, living life in its Technicolor finest by channeling my Grandma, Donna Reed, and June Cleaver with a bit of Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly glamour thrown in for good measure, too. I work outside of the home full-time as a university administrator but I nourish my soul and find my greatest happiness by trying to be the "perfect" 1950s homemaker.

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    I love “Shiny Brites,” and plastic just isn’t the same. I have a love/hate relationship with vintage ornaments because older ornaments tarnish. While I want the vintage look, I don’t want the tarnish.

    Thanks for the post and the great pics.
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