Collecting Old Greeting Cards

 Vintage Greeting Cards
Little Tidbits About Greeting Cards
You can usually date back to when the ancient Chinese used the tradition of sending greeting cards to celebrate the new year to family and friends. Egyptians sent greetings to their loved ones on papyrus scrolls.

In the early part of the 1800s, greeting cards were just a luxury only to those who had the wealth and means to send to family and friends. It was around the 1850s when greeting cards became a bit more easier to send since the debut of the postage stamp that occurred in 1840, along with the “advanced” progress in mechanization and printing.

First Known Christmas Card
History found on the first known Christmas card dates back to 1843. This card was from England produced by John Calcott Horsley for Sir Henry Cole.

First Known Valentine Card
Valentines were popular as long ago as the Middle Ages when young swains sang their hearts to their beloved. Valentines that were written didn’t appear until after the year 1400. In England, paper valentines that were handmade were all the rage. Valentines began to be commercially manufactured in the middle of the 19th century. A woman from Massachusetts by the name of Esther Howland was the first regular publisher of valentines in the United States. Her first hand made Valentine was sold in 1949. Later she established a publishing company that made and specialized in elaborate and decorative cards.

First American Greeting Card
Louis Prang who was a German lithographer was known to be the first person to create the American greeting card in 1856. Mr. Prang was the first to make colored cards. By the 1870s, Mr. Prang had introduced the first published Christmas cards to the United States. In 1906 there were many other companies jumping into the business of publishing greeting cards.

First Hallmark Card
A known high school drop out named Joyce C. Hall, her brothers Rollie and William were responsible for printing the first Hallmark card in 1916.

Collecting Greeting Cards
Many of the collectors will choose a specific time era or type of card that they wish to collect. There are so many to choose from such as the Ellen Clapsaddle mechanical, Santa cards, Valentines, 1950s Birthday cards or even popular character cards like Disney and Loony Tunes. Special holiday cards are also popular among collectors.
You can save them, collect them, resell them to collectors, or give them away to non profit organizations that recycle them and produce new cards from them. There are some books out by Linda McPherson on identification and value of children greeting cards and they may also be others worth checking into for more information and comparisons.

Alana Morgaine

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