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November 30, 2016

This Is What Christmas Looked Like in the 1920s

The 1920s ushered in significant changes in American life. They were years when most Americans acquired their first radios and automobiles, and achieved the highest standard of living in the nation's history.

The celebration of the Christmas holiday in the 1920s changed as well. The first national Christmas tree originated during the administration of President Calvin Coolidge. This sixty-foot balsam fir was lit in an impressive ceremony in 1923. Cotton ornaments, inexpensive and unbreakable, were at the peak of their popularity.

By the late 1920s, however, spectacular glass ornaments were being imported from Germany. The popular image of Santa Claus, originally created by German-American cartoonist Thomas Nast, was standardized by advertisers in the 1920s.

This rare vintage footage below shows what Christmas looked like in the 1920s:


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