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1950s fad now a historical exhibit

Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. -- In 1959, salesman Jerry Waak got two responses when he began shopping around for a new aluminum Christmas tree.

"What in the hell is an aluminum Christmas tree?" was one. Luckily for Waak and Aluminum Specialty Co., the second was, "This is just what I need."

Almost 50 years later, the Wisconsin Historical Society opened a display in late November to celebrate those Evergleam trees manufactured in Manitowoc. Some of the trees are on loan from people like Waak while the society acquired others with private funds.

Once a staple in American homes, they fell out of favor for years as tacky. But they have begun making a comeback for a baby boomer generation filled with nostalgia for all things from its youth.

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"They were ready for change," Waak said of the fad that he had expected to last for three years but instead stretched for more than a decade.

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