Source:www.archival­mo­ments.ca(com­piled by Larry Do­hey)

The Compass - - PORTHTE -

The tra­di­tion of send­ing com­mer­cial Christ­mas cards can be traced to 1843. A gen­tle­man by the name of Sir Henry Cole (in the press of the day he was re­ferred to as Old King Cole) had sev­eral prob­lems that he was try­ing to re­solve. In the 1840s Christ­mas cards were very ex­pen­sive; they were in­di­vid­u­ally painted and de­liv­ered by hand. Henry did not want to have to con­tend with the ex­pense and he es­pe­cially dis­liked the idea of writ­ing a per­sonal greet­ing to each per­son. He also wanted the mes­sage on his Christ­mas cards to bring at­ten­tion to the im­por­tance of sup­port­ing the des­ti­tute dur­ing the Christ­mas sea­son. Then the an­swer came. It was a mar­riage of art and tech­nol­ogy. Sir Henry — com­mis­sioned artist John Cal­cott Hors­ley to paint a card show­ing the feed­ing and cloth­ing of the poor. It was a trip­tych with scenes on each of the side panels de­pict­ing the char­i­ta­ble essence of Christ­mas: feed­ing the poor and cloth­ing the home­less. In the cen­ter was the mes­sage “Merry Christ­mas and Happy New Year To You” un­der a col­or­ful draw­ing of a fam­ily cel­e­brat­ing, their wine glasses raised in a toast. Now all he had to do was sign them. The rest is his­tory. Sir Henry had good in­ten­tions, but his Christ­mas card de­sign, show­ing a child en­joy­ing a sip of wine, was de­scribed as fos­ter­ing the moral cor­rup­tion of chil­dren. Web/link www.the­rooms.ca

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