The First Xmas Card
Maoriland Worker, Volume 12, Issue 254, 14 December 1921, Page 12
The First Xmas Card
It does not date so very fair back, I that first Christmas card. j J The honour a£ inventing it is; claimed for two different men. I But this much seems certain.j Somewhere about the year 1843 Sir; Henry Cole was engaged in a publishing business. He was also a writer jof guide-books and stories for chiifcireu, under the pen-name of' Felix Summerly." j j Tiiese books were issued from "Summerly's Home Treasury Office, 12. Bond Street, Lrondon." One of his illustrators was John j Callcot Horsley, R.A., and Cole asked i J him to design for him a card of Christmas greetings. j I From an entry iv Sir Henry Cole's diary we learn. "Horsley came, 1 bringing designs for Christmas card, j 17th November, 1543." j It seems to have only been used j ias a private card of greeting, until j 11846, when it wag sold to the public at the "Home Treasury Office/" and; this was the first English Christmas! .'card to go into circulation. The design was not one that would appeal to the Prohibitionists of these: days! It depicted a family circle from grand-parents to grand-children,! seated round a table that occupied j the centre of the picture—ell quaff-; ing generous draughts of wine (to j mention the words "quaffing," and j "draughts," seem to fit the times I better than our present day words 1 'I do). I j On a piece of drapery overhanging. I th e table, "good wishes" were ex-! I pressed to all. j J Flanking the merry makers on the j I right, was a woman, giving clothing 'J to a shivering woman and child. JOn the left, was a man, giving j food, to the hungry. j j Such was the First Christmas Cardj of which only 1000 copies were is'siied. But this was considered a j large fcircul&tion in those days. j But another mind was travelling, iv. the same direction. In the inter-' val between the designing of the; first card in 1843 and it's publication; in 1846. 'Cuthbert Bede" —otherwise j the Rev. Edward Bradley—hit upon th e same idea. j "When a student at Durham Univer- sity, he designed a Christmas card; Jto send as a greeting among his j friend's, j Later, he made other designs, i which were printed for him by Messrs. Lambert, of Newcastle-on, Tyne. These passed on to public circulation, about Christmas 1347. There seems to be some difference of opinion as to which of these, two men got into the field first. But the priority of the Cole-Horsiey cards seems to be pretty definitely established.