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History of
Christmas Cards

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History of Christmas Cards
Discover the Christmas customs, stories, myths and legends associated with the History of Christmas Cards and New Year Cards. This festive tradition and Christmas custom has evolved over time. But what is the origin of History of Christmas Cards? This article provides facts and information about the History of Christmas Cards as a familiar symbol, tradition and Christmas custom.

Christmas Cards  

History of of Christmas Cards - Timeline
The Christmas Custom and history of sending Christmas Cards was made possible by the 1840 British penny post. The invention of the steam press made them an inexpensive item. Prior to this time festive messages were sent via letters and general correspondence. The history and popularity of sending Xmas cards was influenced and made possible by the following factors:

History Timeline

  • 1840 British penny post

  • 1843 - The steam powered rotary printing press was invented in in the United States by Richard M. Hoe which allowed for millions of copies of History of Christmas Cards to be produced in a single day

  • 1843 - The oldest Christmas card, now in the British Museum, created for general distribution was designed by William Egley Jr.

  • 1843 - First Xmas cards were printed in London. The card was designed by John Calcott Horsley of the Royal Academy for Sir Henry Cole and were sold at Felix Summerly's Home Treasury Office

    • The greeting was "A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You."

  • 1845 - Christmas cards first mailed in England by W.C. Dobson

  • 1846 - Xmas cards first mailed in US

  • 1865 - Louis Prang manufactured Xmas Cards for the European market

  • Development of US Postal service

    • 1855 - it became compulsory for the sender to pay the postage

    • 1858 - collection boxes began appearing in larger cities

    • 1890 - many post offices had free city delivery

    • 1900's - The post office began free rural delivery

  • 1875 - Louis Prang manufactured Xmas Cards for the US market

History Timeline

The History of Christmas Cards - The Merry Christmas Salutation
The history of the familiar phrase of "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" can be dated back to old letters from the 1600's. The word 'Merry' is of English origin. The term 'Merry' was replaced by another form of this greeting, especially in the U.K. and other commonwealth countries. The greeting on cards was changed to 'Happy Christmas'. The reason for this is that the term 'Merry' is British slang for being drunk so "Merry" was changed to "Happy". This is born out in the famous poem 'Twas the Night before Christmas' by Clement Clarke Moore the last words of the poem are as follows:

"...Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

History of Christmas Cards
Christmas is celebrated worldwide, throughout the Christian population of approximately 2275 million people, but is also celebrated by many non-Christians as a secular, cultural festival. A Christmas custom or tradition is symbolized by a familiar symbol or icon, such as Christmas Cards,  have come to represent the spirit and meaning of this special time of the year, the history of this icon is fascinating.

History of Christmas Cards

  • History of Christmas Cards
  • The history, meaning and origin of this familiar symbol - cards
  • Old Customs, Symbols and Traditions and history cards
  • Meaning and origin of this traditional Christmas custom
  • History, Facts and information about customs, symbols and traditions of cards
  • History and origin of traditional symbols - cards
  • History of Christmas Cards

History of Christmas Cards

"Merry Christmas, have a happy and prosperous New Year!"

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