While listening to CBC radio today, (yup, I'm ancient) I came across a program talking about the history of Christmas cards. I was intrigued by the
fact of how far back this tradition actually goes. 1843!
This card, one of 18 cards produced 167 years ago and still known to exist, was auctioned by Sotheby's in 2010 and sold for $7000. This particular
card was was sent to a "Miss Rusby" from an "H. Vernon", produced by Sir Henry Cole and published by Summerley’s Home Treasury Office, 12, Old Bond
So a "Miss Rusby" may have the unique Distinction of being the very first person to receive a personalized Christmas card.
Further investigation shows that the PC crowd of the past was on the ball:
That was the beginning. But in spite of its ingenuity, the first Christmas card was not an instant success, even bringing about disapproval from the
temperance league who feared the card would encourage drunkenness.
The sending of Christmas greeting cards began in the Victorian era. Although wood engravers produced prints with religious themes in the European
Middle Ages, the first commercial Christmas and New Year's card is believed to have been designed and printed in London, England in 1843.
John Callcott Horsley (born 1817--died 1903), a British narrative painter and a Royal Academician, designed the very first Christmas and New Year's
card at the request of his friend Sir Henry Cole (the first director of the Victoria and Albert Museum).
More Christmas Card trivia:
In the late 19th century, cards were lavish, but didn't have the religious symbols present on either the original cards or the cards of today. The
turn-of-the century saw European Christmas postcards that remained popular for the next 10 years.
Hand-painted cards, heavily influenced by the Art Deco movement were popular during the 1920s.
The Depression and the 1930s brought cards making fun of poverty and prohibition. The popularity of animated films brought characters like Popeye and
Mickey Mouse onto cards for the first time.
A surge in Christmas cards came in the 1940s, courtesy of World War II. Friends and family, far away fighting, received cards with patriotic messages
and symbols, like Uncle Sam. New technology allowed for more vivid cards.
The 1950s introduced humor. Santa was pictured as a couch potato watching television on one card. On a card whose message was "Peace on Earth," Santa
had nuclear missiles over his head.
Untraditional cards took center stage in the 1960s, as Santa was poked fun at and peace symbols appeared on many cards. New inventions allowed cards
to feature embossing and gold foil.
The 1970s had an athletic Santa to reflect the public's physical fitness obsession. The United States' bicentennial also factored into Christmas cards
with nostalgic art, like that of Norman Rockwell. Religious cards also saw resurgence with the decades born again Christians.
Sophistication was big in the 1980's. The larger numbers of women in business led to more feminine designs. The cards took on the appearance of fine
art as technology improved. As the public continued its thinness craze, pictures on cards showed a thinner Santa.
Traditionalism came back, to some extent, in the 1990s. Cards featured snow- covered landscapes, wreaths and Christmas trees. Messages promoting
environmental concerns were also produced. Personalized cards done on computers reflected the customization trend.
The year 2000 relied on technology. Many card buyers used the Internet to order and send their Christmas cards, preventing the need to personally
touch an envelope. However, those into tradition could still buy and mail their own cards.
Personally? I fail to see the point. I remember as a youngster making a card for my mom and her eyes getting bright and misty with my absolute
Not the actual but I'll bet many can relate:
(Yes, I actually said CHRISTMAS!)
edit on 19-12-2014 by jude11 because: (no reason given)