Sunday, December 2, 2007
Vintage Christmas Cards
While I was going through some storage boxes the other day I came across a box of vintage greeting cards that were sent to relatives in Itawamba County from the late 1800’s through the 1950’s. Among this collection of old cards, there are several old Christmas greeting cards. Christmas cards originated in England during the 1840’s when during 1843 Sir Henry Cole commissioned John Calcott Horsley to paint a card showing the feeding and clothing of the poor. For many years during the 1800’s Christmas cards in America were imported from England. It was not until 1875 that German immigrant Louis Prang opened a lithographic shop and published the first line of U.S. Christmas cards. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some of the vintage Christmas cards in my collection.
The card above was mailed by my uncle, Samuel Feemster Riley to his family in the New Chapel community of Itawamba County during 1918. He was stationed in France during World War I. This card depicts an American vessel and a military camp in the background. The card is adorned with holly and reads “A Merry Christmas.” In small lettering under the left portion of the image are the words: “H. Bouquet for A.E.F. Y.M.C.A. H. Bouquet was a printer in Paris and printed this card for the A.E.F. (American Expeditionary Force) Y.M.C.A. in France.
The A.E.F. fought alongside allied forces and helped the French defend the Western Front during the Aisne Offensive in May 1918, and fought its major action in the Meuse-Argonne offensive in the fall of 1918.
Visit The Advent Calendar hosted by Thomas at Destination: Austin Family for more bloggers' musings on Christmas cards as well as other Christmas subjects.
Christmas Card History Source: The Greeting Card Museum