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The World’s First Christmas Card

Every year, we send out Christmas cards to our loved ones who are far away. Do you ever wonder where the first Christmas card came from? Let’s take a look!

via retronaut

We scour bookstores and craft stores finding the perfect Christmas card to send our loved ones. Some of us even take time to create our own cards. When did the tradition of giving cards start? The first Christmas card that was commercially produced was made possible by Henry Cole back in 1843. That same year, Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ was also written. The Christmas card’s design was created by John C. Horsley. The lithography process was used for printing and each card was then colored by hand.

Henry Cole has always been interested in art. He also had a hand in making postage stamps. For the first Christmas card, only a thousand copies were printed. Cole certainly made a lot of money selling his Christmas cards at a high price. Only high-class citizens were able to purchase it. A second printing was commissioned totalling the number of units manufactured to 2,050.

As you can see from the photo of the first Christmas card above, the theme is far from what we see on Christmas cards that are sold today. Only a few of these Christmas cards remain. Back in 2005, an original printing of the card was sold for £ 8,500.

Here’s a look at some modern Christmas cards:

The information for this article was taken from Wikipedia – Christmas Card and Retronaut.

written by jeanmendoza

1 comment

  1. tbyrdc

    I love history, hence this reason why I decided to major in it at college. So when I stumbled upon a history book in my store called A Victorian Christmas, I instantly fell in love. The above picture of the first christmas card was in that book. After reading the entire book, cover to cover, I realized the true meaning of christmas. It transcends the its religious association. Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol was intended to bring the harsh reality of the world in to the homes of the fortunate ones. Christmas is not about the presents, but rather as a way to acknowledge those who are less than fortunate. To acknowledge out daily indulgences and how we can limit it.
    over 2 years ago · report as spam