The Origin and Continuation of the Greeting Card

2020 Words Oct 11th, 2008 9 Pages
The Origin and Continuation of the Greeting Card
The perfect words, the right sentiments, the ability to say exactly what we ourselves can’t: just a few ways greeting cards are defined. Greeting cards, the stars of today, started with a humble beginning. The custom of sending greeting cards can be traced back to the ancient Chinese, who exchanged messages of good will to celebrate the New Year, and to the early Egyptians, who conveyed their greetings on papyrus scrolls. By the early 1400s, handmade paper greeting cards were being exchanged in Europe. The Germans are known to have printed New Year’s greetings from woodcuts as early as 1400, and handmade paper Valentines were being exchanged in various parts of Europe in the early to
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”First in person, then via post, by 1822, homemade Christmas cards had become the bane of the U.S. postal system. That year, the Superintendent of Mails in Washington, D.C., complained of the need to hire sixteen extra mailmen. Fearful of future bottlenecks, he petitioned Congress to limit the exchange of cards by post, concluding, ‘I don’t know what we’ll do if it keeps on’." (Panati) Of the original one thousand cards printed for Henry Cole, twelve exist today in private collections.
Printed cards soon became the rage in England; then in Germany. But it required an additional thirty years for Americans to take to the idea. In 1875, Boston lithographer Louis Prang, a native of Germany, began publishing cards, and earned the title "father of the American Christmas card."“Prang’s high-quality cards were costly, and they initially featured not images as the Madonna and Child, a decorated tree, or even Santa Claus, but of colored floral arrangements of roses, daisies, gardenias, geraniums, and apple blossoms. Americans took to Christmas cards, but unfortunately, not to Prang’s; he was forced out of business in 1890. It was cheap penny

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