Shiny Brite is a brand name,
not a generalized term for 30s-50s glass ball ornaments.
The Shiny Brite brand was begun by Max Eckhardt, who imported German glass ornaments in the 1930s. As it became possible that another war would occur and interrupt the flow of German glass ornaments once again, Max and a representative of F.W.Woolworth, the largest seller of Christmas ornaments in the country, got together to see if they could persuade the Corning Company of Corning, New York to determine a way to make American glass ornaments. Corning had a type of machine that ordinarily made thousands of light bulbs out of a ribbon of glass. Sensing an essentially guaranteed market, Corning agreed to see if its machine could successfully turn out glass ornaments with sufficient popular appeal.
By 1940 Corning was making about 300,000 ornaments a day, compared with the perhaps 600 for a skilled German glassblower, and sending them to other companies for decoration.The largest customer was Max Eckhardt who by now had established an All-American company known as Shiny Brite. Shiny Brite Ornaments were lacquered by machine on the outside and then decorated by hand. The ornaments were silvered on the inside so they would remain “shiny bright” for longer periods. Shiny Brite produced ornaments from the 30s thru the 60s. Each one was labeled on the cap “Shiny Brite”, so don’t accept an ornament as Shiny Brite unless it has the label.
Today, Christopher Radko, the entrepreneur who discovered and recreated many of the historic glass ornament molds from Germany and Czechoslovakia, has purchased the name and recreated much of the Shiny Brite ornament collection.