Friday, October 22, 2010

Christmas Fun - Christmas Cards B

Assorted Christmas Cards
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia
We all love Christmas Cards but I found it quite interesting to learn that in the beginning Christmas cards had little do do with Christian images and were in fact the direct ancestor to what is known as Trade Cards.
The setting was early 17th c London where businesses found a way to not only give directions to their establishments but advertise their goods. Needless to say, such an inviting way to advertise ones business quickly made its way across all of Europe and to North America too.
Victorian Trade Cards
Images of Trade Cards Courtesy: Iowa Digital Library
Belding Brothers & Co.: Men Lifting Package onto Ship (Front)
And another:
Allen's "Lung Balsam, Perry Davis' Pain Killer" (Front)
The colorful aspect of these cards made them into very popular items and people were soon collecting them. It was only with the ascendancy of magazines that Trade Cards, something our ancestors would have known and loved, fell into disuse.
I'll leave you on this lovely Friday with one more especially beautiful card:
Clark's Cotton: Children on Parade (Front)
Don't children make everything wonderful? Trade Cards, Christmas Cards, everything! Personally I like the Christ Child on my Christmas Cards with St Nicholas, yes, even in the guise of Santa, coming in a close second.
I'll be back on Monday and Wednesday with more from my "St. Nicholas and Christmas" manuscript and next Friday with more about the history of Christmas Cards (I just can't seem to stay away from history...)
Have a wonderful weekend and many many thanks for all your lovely comments. They mean the world to me!


Sara Bentley @ Purses Pastries Etc... said...

Wow! I had NO idea that the Christmas cards we all look forward to receiving every year come from trade cards -- which by the way, I find the ones you posted here to be so quaint! How do you uncover all these things?!? :) Hope you have a great weekend too!

Zabrinah said...

Wow.... I'm also blown away and shocked to know that Christmas cards come from trade cards.

Ann, you did again! I really liked reading this one. And the images are great too!



Lois Evensen said...

Fascinating post! Yes, I learned somewhere before that Christmas cards had a business history, but I hadn't seen the wonderful selection of cards. So pretty.

Mandie said...

I love history! I was very happy to have seen your blog. That last card is my favorite. Kids sure do make everything better!

Anonymous said...

Very enlightening and beneficial to someone whose been out of the circuit for a long time.

- Kris

Remington said...

This was an amazing post! I love Christmas cards so I found this to be very interesting! Thank you so much for sharing!

Krystal said...

I'm totally going to tell everyone this, I'll sound informed! :)
p.s. watch this to see what a freeze mob is ;)

K-9 Katastrophe said...

I didn't knows that that is how Christmas card came to be! Thanks for sharing!!


~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

Didn't know this, glad I do now!
These images are the cutest. xx

GrandmaK said...

I always learn something new when I visit you! The cards are delightful!! Wishing you well! Cathy

fernvalley01 said...

I had no idea, but all traditions start somwhere , funny whre they star is not often where they wind up

Lily said...


Thank you soooo much for stopping by at Christmas Believe. I am your newest follower too :) Your blog is really cool, wonder why I hadn't come across it before. Yes Mandie is so lovely. Looking forward to exploring your blog.


Rebecca said...

I love all the history to this-I'll be coming back to read some more!

Stacey said...

This was quite an enlightening post and i have to say that i am bit shocked too! I love that you delve into the history because in doing so, you impart some great knowledge my way:-). Happy weekend! XX

Michele said...

i love this bit of history and the cards are really special. thanks for all you share with the world through your blog! xo

Jen T said...

Hey Ann - I love your blog! This is so interesting. I had no idea that Christmas cards came from advertisements. I'm following & look forward to reading more. Take care- Jen

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Hi ANN! Again, such carefully researched but inspiring information on the traditions of our lives! Be well, Anita

Cameron said...

I found this post very interesting...nothing like finding out a bit more about how the world was for our great grandparents:)

Beautiful images...thank you for sharing! I also appreciate you stopping by my blog....having visitors is always such a delight!

Well Wishes,

Celestial Charms said...

Interesting. I adore the illustrations of vintage trade cards, and have collected a few of my favorites. How wonderful it must have been to be given these, in the past. I've heard they were often collected and displayed in Victorian parlors.

Georgianna said...

I hope you don't stay away from history, Ann! Such fascinating information we'd never have otherwise. The trade cards are so charming now – I wonder if our bulk mail will be considered so in 100 years time! Thank you again for your visit and lovely comment. Wishing you a terrific week. – g

Bron @ Baby Space said...

Wow! This is fascinating. Love this tasty tidbit about past media. So interesting.

Bron @ Baby Space said...

p.s Thanks for dropping by Baby Space!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Very interesting, Ann, thanks for providing such interesting information and the photos too. It's always good to learn something new. I still like to send and get Christmas cards, no matter wat their origin.