In 1843 Sir Henry Cole, a civil servant who had helped set up the “public record office” (now known as the post office), wondered how it could be used more by ordinary people. Thus he and artist, John Horsely, came up with the idea of the Christmas card.
Christmas cards appeared in the United States in the late 1840’s but were so expensive most people couldn’t afford them. In 1875, Louis Prang, a printer originally from Germany, started mass producing cards so more people could afford them. His first cards featured flowers, plants, and children. In 1915, John C. Hall and two of his brothers created Hallmark Cards, who are still one of the biggest card makers today!
Annie Oakley, the famous sharpshooter and star of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show sent the first known “personalized” Christmas card in 1891. She was in Glasgow, Scotland and sent cards back to her friends and family in the USA featuring a photo of herself on it. Since she was in Scotland, she was of course wearing tartan in the photo! Annie reportedly designed the cards herself and they were printed by a local printer.
How fun to think we still enjoy spreading holiday cheer in the same way all these years later. Not wearing tartan mind you, but putting photos of ourselves on our cards. I wonder who Annie Oakley’s photographer was. Someone had to take that picture of her otherwise there would have been nothing for her to design; nothing for her to print.
Let me be your Holiday card photographer this year!
Through December 13th I am offering Holiday mini sessions which include a 30-minute photo shoot and 5 professional edited digital image files for $125 plus a free box of holiday photo cards if ordered through me. Sessions must be done between now and the 13th to insure cards are received in time for the holiday. Call or message me if you have any questions or would like to book a session, and Happy Holidays! 636-293-5728