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In the early 1800's, Christmas trees in Germany were typically decorated with candles, cookies, fruit, paper novelties, and candy. Then, a glassblower in Lauscha (a district long recognized for the quality of its glass) crafted some small glass balls to hang on his family's tree.

Within a few years, Lauscha glassblowers were filling orders by the thousands. In 1880, F. W. Woolworth brought the ornaments made in Lauscha to the United States.