Episode 8

Christmas Cards

December 13, 2016

Americans will send over a billion Christmas cards this year. Even in this age of instantaneous communication, the physical Christmas card is still inseparable from our modern holiday celebration.

The Christmas card is an English invention. A man named Henry Cole is credited with creating the first commercially produced Christmas card in 1843. But more interesting are the social, economic, and technological factors that all came together at roughly the same time to enable the birth of the Christmas card. Hear all about it in this episode of Christmas Past.

The “Cole Horsely Card,” the first commercially produced card from 1843

Early Christmas cards were not much like the ones we know today. Many of them had seemingly nothing to do with Christmas.

A Louis Prang Christmas card

Music in this episode