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1950s Rare Crystalite Candle Powered Plastic Christmas Tree
In all my years of collecting vintage Christmas, I've never come across another of these unusual Crystalite tabletop Christmas trees. When assembled, the transparent plastic tree is about 13-1/2 inches tall. Three spiked candle holders are arranged around the ring base. A "turbine" propeller with slanted bell blades rests on the tip which rotates from the heat of the candle flames. The instructions state you should only use 2 inch candles, but it was still probably quite dangerous when the candles were lit, if only to the plastic tree.
Some of the thin spikes that hold the ornaments are missing from the tree branches. I used a tiny dab of florist clay to hold the beads in place, as I didn't want to glue them on permanently The tree comes complete with all parts including glass bead ornaments, propeller or turbine, star topper, and little mica glittered sun, moon, and star ornaments for the top of the propeller. There are some extra parts - ring base, propeller, star top, extra beads, and 3 additional mica turbine ornaments.
The instruction sheet is present but in very poor condition, nearly falling apart from age. The little pink paper describing the proper candle size and use of the bearing cap is printed in German for some reason, though the tree base is marked Patent Pending, indicating American manufacture. The only company information is at the bottom of the instruction sheet - Thoresen's, 352 Fourth Ave., New York 10 N.Y. Thoresen's was a mail order firm, probably not the manufacturer. Candles are not included.
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