Learn about Christmas Cards
With the establishment of the public postal service in 1840, the first 'Penny Post' postal deliveries began. Before that, only the very wealthy could afford to send articles by post. The new Post Office was able to offer a Penny stamp because new railways that could carry larger quantities of freight, were being built.
Sir Henry Cole, a civil servant was very interested in the new public postal service, and he is credited with originating the idea of Christmas cards in order to make use of the new postal service.
Cards could be mailed for half a penny, half the price of an ordinary letter, and as printing methods improved they were produced in large numbers from 1860.
The idea spread gradually to other countries and, by 1890, the volume of Christmas cards had reached such proportions that postal administrations had to make special arrangements for the handling of such mail.
The first cards usually had pictures of the Nativity scene on them. In late Victorian times, robins and snow-scenes became popular. more...
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