I read this interesting article on the Business Forum I belong to and found it most interesting.
I am sure you will find it just as intriguing ~ Enjoy
The History of Greeting Cards
(from the Postcard and Greeting Card Museum – www.emotionscards.com)
greeting cards to friends and family is a tradition that goes back
about 200 years. They were mostly sent by the elite and wealthy in the
early to mid 1800's. Most of the early greeting cards were hand
delivered and many were quite expensive, but they soon gained mass
popularity with the introduction of the world's first postage stamp
issued in 1840 and a few ambitious printer's and manufacturer's
perfecting printing methods, hiring artists and designed both elaborate
expensive cards as well as simple affordable ones by the 1850's.
you visit our galleries you will see that cards of the past were fine
pieces of art. Manufacturer's used quality artists and many of the
large manufacturer's held "art" competitions to generate interest and
to get new ideas for cards. Some of these competitions awarded as much
as $1,000.00 to the winner!
known greeting card in existence is a Valentine made in the 1400's and
is in the British Museum. New Year's cards can be dated back to this
period as well, but the New Year greeting didn't gain popularity until
the late 1700's. The Valentine and Christmas Card were the most popular
cards, with Valentine's offering us the most "mechanical", "pop-up" and
filigree cards, followed by Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, Easter,
Halloween and Thanksgiving. Cards gained their highest popularity in
the late 1800's and early 1900's offering us cards with some of the
most unusual art. The Victorian age give us the most prolific cards.
Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, when lovers said
or sang their Valentines. Written Valentines began to appear after
1400. Paper Valentines were exchanged in Europe where they were given
in place of Valentine gifts. Handmade paper Valentines were especially
popular in England. In the mid to early 1800's, Valentines began to be
assembled in factories. Early manufactured Valentines were black and
white pictures painted by workers in a factory. Esther Howland (see
below) known as the Mother of the Valentine made fancy Valentines with
real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as "scrap". She
introduced the Paper Lace Valentine in the mid 1800's. By the end of
the 1800's, Valentines were being made entirely by machine.
cards were introduced and popularized by John Calcott Horsley, the
artist of what is known as the world's first Christmas Card and Louis
Prang, known as the Father of the American Christmas Card.
rest is History. With the exchange of New Year's, Valentine's, Easter,
St. Patrick's Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Birthday
Cards, just to name a few, there is probably no occasion that doesn't
have its own greeting card!