December 24, 2018

Victorian Christmas Cards

One of the most significant seasonal traditions to emerge in the Victorian era was the Christmas card due to the development of the postage system. In 1840 The Penny Black was the first stamp introduced in Britain which paid for the postage of a letter or card which could be mailed anywhere in the country.

Sir Henry Cole, 1st director of London’s Victoria & Albert Museum hired the artist J.C. Horsley to design the first printed Christmas card. One thousand were printed and hand-colored. Those he didn't use were sold to the public for a shilling.

The temperance league disapproved of  the merry tipplers, one of them being a child.

1860’s chromolithography made cards more colorful and less expensive to print. 

Halfpenny postage rate was a result of the efficiencies of railways. By 1880 there was an increase of more than 11 1/2 million letters above the ordinary correspondence and four tons of extra registered letters in Christmas week.
Then Victorians went really crazy with their Christmas cards!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

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