Friday, November 18, 2016

Christmas Cards

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.

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