CW2016 Lecture: Christmas Trees in Early Postcards

Marlin Casker presents Christmas Trees in Early Postcards

Marlin Casker presents Christmas Trees in Early PostcardsOf all my childhood memories of Christmas the image of Christmas trees is the most vivid. My father would bring home a tree, sometimes with the help of my brother and me, and set it up. These were natural, short-needled trees which sometimes had to be held in place with wires fastened to the adjacent walls. Mother had an eye for design and would ensure that everything was in its proper place. Sometimes the tree would be lit with only blue lights, an idea unusual for the time in central Pennsylvania. My grandparents, who were Swedish, had a tree which was special. It had no lights but was covered with decades of ornaments and surrounded with old toys. I have never lost my interest in these festive features and in recent years have tried to get better informed about their history. The postcards give us an insight into not only what the early 20th century trees looked like but they also suggest something of the people who set up the trees and of the time is which they lived.