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America's first fake trees were produced around the 1930s by the Addis Brush Co.—they were made with the same machinery used to make toilet brushes! As you can imagine these trees weren't exactly realistic looking. Artificial trees have come a long way from toilet brushes.
Today's artificial trees, the most realistic ever, are created using petrochemicals. And, on top of the trees themselves improving, the technology of the trees has advanced even further. Today, instead of putting the trees together by attaching each branch one at a time, the trees come with hinged branches that don't need to be assembled one at a time. If you ask any person what the worst part about Christmas trees decorating is, they're likely to tell you that it's putting up the lights. Untangling and stringing lights can be a pain so why not avoid it.
The best fake Christmas trees come with the light already built in, completely eliminating the hassle of putting up lights.