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Artificially Treed December 21, 2010

Posted by bobv451 in ideas, inventions, movies, nostalgia, science, science fiction.

My dad was always at the cutting edge of technology. He was a ham radio fanatic and one of the first forays he made into computers was using a Commodore 64 to send code at 100 wpm. Hooking into a polar orbit OSCAR satellite was on his radar, too. I shouldn’t be surprised that we had an aluminum Christmas tree in 1959, even when the first was made/invented in 1958. It had a rotating color wheel since dangling strings of lights was, uh, dangerous. We had bright red ornaments but putting them on always resulted in lots of cuts. After a couple years the red on the branches was also my blood. (My dad was too smart to ever actually decorate the tree himself). My mother still has the tree and it is worth a small fortune if eBay bids are to be believed, and would be worth more if the rotating RGB color wheel was still extant.

Back in the day Christmas trees probably were something that sprang up in Germany but tracking down first appearances in the West isn’t really possible. German immigrants probably brought them along. 1847 seems to be the first instance of a decorated tree (with candy canes) but this was in Ohio, not in the West. But the Germans also were the first to develop artificial “feather trees” made from green-dyed goose feathers since the country had been deforested by the late 19th century.

But where can trees evolve? Tree farms grow most of the trees now but artificial trees such as fiber optic ones are flashy and it seems possible to make holographic ones, a la Princess Leia in Star Wars. You can size them up or down as you see fit, have motion and color and decorate them any way you want.

All that’s lacking would be the pine needle smell (or the coppery scent of blood spilled decorating that damned aluminum tree).




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