The First Christmas Card
The custom of sending Christmas cards began in the United Kingdom in 1843 courtesy of Sir Henry Cole. Henry, a civil servant, was very interested in exploring how the new ‘Public Post Office’ could be used more widely.
Working with his friend and artist John Horsley, they designed the first card and sold them for 1 shilling each. The card had three panels. The outer two panels showed people caring for those less fortunate and in the centre panel featured a family having a large Christmas dinner.
The card attracted some controversy as it showed a child being given a glass of wine! Copies of this first Christmas card (of which it’s estimated 1,000 were printed) are rare and cost thousands of pounds to buy now.
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