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To this day, when I think Christmas I think of those cheerful glass ornaments. Although ours were from a variety of companies, the most popular of these vintage glass ornaments was made by a company called “Shiny Brite”.Shiny Brite ornaments were created by American businessman Max Eckardt in 1937.Using sharp metallic colours, glittery mica flakes, and metal hooks and distinctive crinkled tops (stamped with the words “Shiny Brite” and “Made in U. For reasons I guess had to do with durability and cost, plastic was preferred over glass, and the Shiny Brite company closed their doors in 1962.Although this is an antiques blog, I must point out that there are some really nice reproduction Shiny Brites made by the Christopher Radko company.These shiny glass balls were often decorated with painted stripes and topped with a metal cap embossed with “Made in the US of A”.With The United States joining in the war in 1941, wartime shortages and restrictions of materials started to plague the new American glass ornament industry.

After WWII was declared, decorative silver nitrate became a “nonessential” use of metal, so many of the ornaments were stripped of any silvering, and were mainly transparent with only hand painted colour on the outside of the bulb. During the war, these hooks were replaced with cardboard tabs from which the owner would use string to hang the ornament.These transparent bulbs are some of the most sought after and prized for collectors. Some bulbs from the wartime era also included a sprig of tinsel inside the bulb for added sparkle, but even this small use of metal was eventually prohibited.When the war finally ended in 1945, restrictions on metal receded, and the iconic “Shiny Brite” ornament was reborn. They remained affordable for families and flourished until plastic ornaments came on the scene in the late 1950s.Most dealers are honest and will answer your questions truthfully.Shiny Brites used to be an easy flea market find, but now depending on the style and age of the ornament the price will vary.

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When I was a kid, my parents (being antique dealers) always had a hodge podge of different antique decorations for the holidays.

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