Friday, October 29, 2010

Christmas Cards A

Penny Black
Image courtesy: Images of the World
Great Britain's First Adhesive Stamp 
Issued May 1840
Queen Victoria's Profile
Now what does an historic stamp have to do with Christmas Cards?
Not only do we have to travel three years into the future from when the Penny Black was first issued to arrive at that answer, but we have to meet Sir Henry Cole.
Sir Henry Cole (1808 - 1882)
Image courtesy: Wikipedia
Sir Cole, a long time civil servant, was not only one of those (he worked under Sir Rowland Hill) who was instrumental at that time in the establishment of the Penny Post in Britain - what we call the Postal Service in most areas of the world today - but also in the design of the Penny Black postage stamp and for our especial interest here, the first commercial Christmas card.
First Commercial Christmas Card
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia
Commissioned by Sir Henry Cole in 1843
Artist: John C. Horsley
This card was advertised in the Athenaeum Paper as: "A Christmas Congratulation Card" or "Picture Emblematical of Old English Festivity to Perpetuate Kind Recollections between Dear Friends"
It was to have caused quite a stir as it showed a child drinking wine, something I'm happy to say would still be cause for concern today in a Christmas card! The reason for the card was of course to help promote the Penny Post and the use of the postage stamp.
It was the age of Queen Victoria and a revival in traditions having to do with Christmas was sweeping the land of Great Britain. But Commercial Christmas Cards were not the only thing that comes to us from this time...can you guess to what I am referring? 
Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
Blessing to all,


Crystal Mary said...

Hello friend, its a pleasure to meet you on here. Thank you for visiting my Blog and leaving a comment. I looked at the Queen Mary stamp and wondered if you were an Ozzie?? The old stamps are wonderful, but then I like looking back on where we have come from.
You have a very interesting Blog I am impressed.You may like to join Sepia Saturday(the past)? and/or Spiritual Sundays (Christian Site)? both link you to other like-minded folk.
If you are interested in one or the other you can find them on my profile page under Blogs I follow.
Hugs from me. xx

Crystal Mary said...

Hello Ann, Reading closer I see you are from my fathers country of birth England...special!!!
My computer is giving me a hard time on here?I eventually got to Follow after three attempts..LOL

Pat said...

The beginnings of Christmas cards.. also Santa Claus, the Christmas tree and Christmas crackers .. I'm sure they all appeared here in the UK in Victoria's reign :) xx

Lyn said...

Arhh the Victorians were great at invenions and starting traditions!
very interesting how your blog can go off into another area and link back to your main subject.

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

How interesting! Must admit that even though I always enjoy sending and receiving Christmas cards eery year I've never looked into their origins.... guess it's just one of those things that one takes for granted. Thanks for sharing this info!
And about what else comes to us from that time... hmmm... could it be Christmas trees? No, that's probably older. Guess I have to wait and find out next week ;)

Heartfire At Home said...

Aarrgghhh, I'm supposed to be writing reports and now you've got me thinking.... too hard to let a puzzle go by.

I guess Christmas trees too, or a holiday on the day, or Christmas crackers, or Christmas turkey (covering my bases - lol). But I think the main one would be the tree.

Linda. xx

Madi and Mom said...

Good Morning Ann!!
What an informative post. Mom and I enjoyed reading about the 1st adhesive postage stamp and Christmas Card. Each day we drop by here we learn lots of new things,
Happy Weekend,
Madi and Mom

Karen said...

What a beautiful blog! I'm following right back :)

Bethany said...

I love these Friday interludes!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh that card is gorgeous!

Ann said...

Well that's a lovely Christmas card but how odd that they had child drinking wine.
I keep learning something new every time I stop here :)
Have a great evening.

French-Kissed said...

Fascinating, Ann. I learn things here that would have otherwise been lost to me. Hope you enjoy a wonderful weekend.


Sandra said...

good morning, I am glad to know there are others that wake up and get trapped without glasses. the weird thing about twirling lights in front of the camera is the lens does not see the person just the light, something about confusing the lens. i am thinking of going to the dollar store to see if they have those glow sticks. that is what Dave used. thanks for stopping by

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Thanks for sharing this information, Ann. It's really interesting to delve into the origins of traditions.

Michele said...

another wonderful friday interlude! thank you Ann. xo

Mademoiselle Poirot said...

What a lovely post, I love those traditions invented by the Victorians and do keep our Christmas very much like that: no tinsel, a real tree, pretty cards and "Victorian" decorations which look much prettier than anything "flashy" or "glittery"... Thanks for this interesting post. Have a lovely weekend, Love from London x

Charlotte said...

What an interesting blog. I always enjoy learning new historical things.

Kris said...

How interesting!!!! Welcome to my blog Ann. I will be back to see you soon.

Anonymous said...

This was so interesting Ann. I see the giving of Christmas cards coming to an end with this high tech society of ours. It makes me so sad. It's always been such a lovely gesture and a kind way of reaching out to others.

Lois Evensen said...

Great post. I love reading the history as I am thinking about what design cards I will send this year.

I love Christmas cards and personal, hand written notes that come (and go) with them. I have some my cards parents received from their friends and they are so beautiful to read now, very formal and yet warm.

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Hello Ann hope your week-end was a good one. Christmas tree's I'm guessing you were referring to!
Penny Black stamps are worth a fortune now if you happen to find one.


Georgianna said...

My, Ann, it is such an entirely different world here at your blog. I'm amazed at your ability to research and fascinated by what you find. It's so valuable to understand where different traditions originate – it makes them more special. Have a lovely new week! – g

Krystal said...

Oh my gosh, how cool to see!!!!