2017-02-06

... beautiful reminders of days gone by

The first known Christmas card was sent out by a British nobleman, Sir Henry Cole in 1843 and portrayed a family -- including a small child -- drinking wine together. The card proved controversial, but the idea caught on. Soon even the British royal family was sending out Christmas cards. These two featuring heavenly messengers are from the 1920s.

... beautiful reminders of days gone by

Here's another from the same time period -- the roaring 1920s, a time of flamboyance and luxury.

... beautiful reminders of days gone by

This card is from the early 1900s. Oddly enough, early cards rarely showed winter or religious themes, instead favoring flowers and even fairies -- often themes that reminded the recipient of the approach of spring. In 1875, printer Louis Prang offered the first mass-produced cards in America. Ornate and expensive, his cards were so popular that they inspired cheap imitations that eventually drove him out of the business.

Cards such as this one were often postcards -- mailed without an envelope. That spelled the end for elaborate Victorian-style cards with ribbons and gold leaf embossing.

... beautiful reminders of days gone by

The cute little cherub and lamb on the left is from the 1950s. The card on the right is from the 1920s.

... beautiful reminders of days gone by

Here's one from the 1970s with an angel and Mary adoring the Christ child beneath the Wisemen's star.

... beautiful reminders of days gone by

This cute crew is from the 1970s.

... beautiful reminders of days gone by

A guardian angel brings toys in this classic Italian card from the late 1890s.

... beautiful reminders of days gone by

A post care from the 1930-40s -- with a personal note!

... beautiful reminders of days gone by

The little cutie on the left is from the 1950s while the classic on the right is probably from the 1920s.

... beautiful reminders of days gone by

A pair of delightful angels from a 1880s Christmas postcard.


More from beliefnet and our partners