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Dec 2016 Christmas CardsThe Christmas Season is here! That means Christmas trees, decorations, presents and Christmas cards! Christmas cards were invented in 1843, so are a relatively recent part of this 2,000 year old celebration.

Sir Henry Cole in England commissioned the cards as an easy way to be in touch with family and friends during the busy Christmas season. He had artist John Callcott Horsley design the card. It featured a large family toasting the card’s recipient. Only two batches, totalling 2,050 cards, were made and they are now rare collector’s items.

With the advent of one penny postage and the postage stamp, Christmas cards caught on and soon became very popular. Early cards rarely showed winter or religious themes, but favoured flowers, fairies and other designs that reminded the recipient that spring was on the way. Joyce and Rollie Hall popularized Christmas cards in America. The Hall brothers started their business in 1913 and the outbreak of World War One greatly increased the demand for cards as people wished to send them to soldiers overseas. The Halls were very successful and are still in business today as Hallmark.

The artifact for this month is a box of “Copper Slims” Christmas cards from the 1960s. By their colouring and shape, these would be considered very modern designed cards for the era. They have a die cut shape on the front which shows an image from the inside. They were produced by another card company that is still popular today, Carlton Cards.

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Last updated: 2/27/2017 11:10:35 AM