For those folks interested in collecting vintage Christmas tree ornaments, some of the most popular of all were the lightweight glass ornaments produced in and around Lauscha, Germany by glass blowers from the region in eastern Germany. This area is considered to be the birthplace of the Christmas tree ornament in general and the glass ornament in particular. This glassblowing center was established in 1590 in Lauscha by German Protestant glass blowers who settled there to escape religious persecution.There they created a lucrative industry in glassblowing toys and ornaments. In 1847 Hans Greiner began producing glass ornaments in the shape of fruits and nuts. The immense popularity in the U.S. of these fanciful glass ornaments was the result of the enterprising American businessman F.W. Woolworth who was surprised by their popularity. Between 1890 and 1909, the Woolworth company made $25 million on ornaments which cost the eager buyers ten cents or less.