In the 1920's, Max Eckardt, a German immigrant and businessman, decided to produce his own line of ornaments. He opened his company in New York City, and had a warehouse by the Harlem River for storing ornaments imported from Bavaria. His ornaments were sold under two different names: Shiny Brite and Max Eckardt & Sons. Max's relatives and their employees in Germany silvered and decorated the glass ornaments by hand and were intricate in design with hand-painted complexity. Such shapes as Christmas balls, figures of Santas and elves, cottages, stars, lanterns, etc. were decorated with lacquer paints, stencils, glue and glitter.
In the late 1930's Eckardt sensed that a possible war would affect the supply of ornaments. In 1937, Max and a rep from F.W. Woolworth approached Corning Glass Company of New York to find a way to make American glass ornaments. ts. In Dec 1939, the first mass-produced, Corning-blown, and machine-lacquered, ornaments were shipped to Woolworth's Five-and Ten-cent stores where they were sold from two to ten cents each. By 1940 Corning was making about 300,000 plain glass ornaments a day and sending them to other companies for decoration. The skilled German glassblower made about 600 a day.
In 1941 Eckardtwas producingunder the trade name Shiny Brite. The ornaments were silvered on the inside as well as the outside so they would remain "shiny brite" for longer periods.
Shiny Brites were on Christmas trees all over America .... they were sold in Woolworth's for a veryaffordable price. They were packaged in solid brown cardboard boxes, and later enhanced with a cellophane window and featured the words "American Made". Following the war, Shiny Brite became the largest ornament company in the world. They were popular throughout the 1940's and 1950's with their heyday occurring in the late 1950's.
They stopped selling as well in the 1960's (it is said the company started making plastic ornaments), and weren't made at all by the 1970's.
What's your Shiny Brite worth? Here are some recently sold items.
|2 Shiny Brite Blue Mercury Glass Beads Original...||04/2021||$39.99|
|Large Of Shiny Brite Mini Glass Christmas Tree...||04/2021||$14.95|
|Christmas Shiny Brite Pink Green Flocked...||04/2021||$125.00|
|Shiny Brite Striped Bell Ornament Red White Blue...||04/2021||$8.99|
|Shiny Brite Christmas Angel Band Playing...||04/2021||$22.22|
|See all sold items on eBay for more prices||05/2021||$-.--|