Shiny Brite ornaments

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.

End of an era

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.


Updated: 26 October 2020

Shiny Brite value and price guide

What's your Shiny Brite worth in 2021? Here are some recently sold items.

Item Title Date Price
shiny brite bottle brush christmas tree 8 box nos Shiny Brite Bottle Brush Christmas Tree 8 Box Nos 10/2021 AU $63.45
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2 unused nylon xmas hankies poinsettia shiny brite 2 Unused Nylon Xmas Hankies Poinsettia Shiny Brite 09/2021 AU $13.80
no pictureSee all sold items on eBay for more prices12/2021AU $-.--

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