The First Christmas Card
He created the greeting for Sir Henry Cole. The card, a triptych, depicts a family party, beneath them are the words “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.” A thousand copies were made and colored by hand.
“Within 20 years several British firms were publishing Christmas cards for the general public.” —Encyclopedia Americana - (Greeting Cards)
Louis Prang, a Boston lithographer, “is credited with producing the first commercial Christmas cards in the United States.” A German immigrant, he began printing cards in “Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1874. By the 1880s he was producing more than five million a year.” —Encyclopaedia Britannica - (Christmas Card)
The NYPL Digital Collections contain over 800 images of Christmas postcards, primarily from the Picture Collection of Mid-Manhattan, as well as other collections. Search for “Christmas Postcards” or “Christmas Cards”
Happy Holidays to All… or should I say “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.”