Midcentury Blow Molds
Smaller Christmas tree decorations made by blow-mold injection have been around since the 1930s, but it was after World War II, when everyone was getting married, having children and moving to tract homes in the suburbs that "frivolous" things like plastic lighted Christmas figures became popular. Along with the large-bulbed C9 and C7-sized holiday light strands, families would decorate their lawns, porches and entries with the illuminated Christmas characters.
Blow molds have never been considered sophisticated. But, like most decorations or toys from another era, the plastic angels and gingerbread boys are nostalgic and have joined the ranks of silver aluminum Christmas trees and color wheels in becoming vintage chic and collectible. Most of the holiday blow mold manufacturers have closed up shop or stopped production. Only a few, like General Foam, have not thrown out the molds and continue to manufacture the plastic decorations.
Some holiday decorators inherit the blow molds from their parents or grandparents, while others have ignited their collection by picking up one or two at yard sales or flea markets. A smattering of full-blown enthusiasts boast collections that number in the hundreds.
Pile into the station wagon, crank up the Christmas tunes on the car radio, and join us for a tour of lawns, porches and homes decorated with beautiful blow molds.