Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Card Craze

The AP has a dispatch about the origins of mass-produced Christmas cards - in 1843, Londoner Henry Cole produced about 1,000 engraved greeting cards, some of which he sent to friends and family (the extras were sold). Only some 20 of the originals exist today. By the 1870s the practice was spreading to America through Boston publisher Louis Prang, and this year, the article notes, Americans are expected to send something like 2 billion greeting cards.

AP also sidenotes that 1843 was also the year in which Charles Dickens released his now-classic tale A Christmas Carol.