Not everyone enjoys a fragrant, fresh, natural Christmas tree. Many folks choose to go with something man-made. Although they had been around in the late 1800's elsewhere, artificial trees started to show up in the United States in the early 1900s. Initially, these trees were made to resemble their natural counterparts. Over the years, however there have been many new additions to the artificial arena -- some of them celebrating the unconventional. For example, in the 1950's, one popular trend in artificial trees was to go with very unnatural colors -- like pink, aqua or silver.
These trees looked more like tinsel than foliage because they were made using aluminum-coated paper. Much like everything else in society, these funky, shiny trees have made a comeback over the past few years with the rest of the retro-revival. Current trees use a different treatment to achieve the metallic look, however -- the old versions were a fire hazard.