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From the Archives - a BVG original for the holidays

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

From the BVG Archives  - By Mark Fellin, Archivist

In 1843, Henry Cole (1808-82) had an ingenious idea! He contacted an artist friend, John Horsley, and commissioned him to design an idea that he had sketched out in his mind. Cole took Horsley’s illustration—a triptych that showed a family around a table celebrating the holiday in the middle and images of kindly souls helping the poor on each side—and had a thousand copies made by a London printer. The image was printed on a piece of stiff cardboard 13 x 8.25cm in size. The top of each card was the salutation, “To,” while the caption along the bottom read, “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.”

It was the first Christmas card.

As printing technology and the mail service improved, the practice of sending commercially produced Christmas cards caught on and it became an integral part of the holiday season. In 1975, our founder, Doreen Hopkins, designed and gave out her own 18 x 15cm Christmas card, seen to the right, to celebrate the holiday season.

If you are interested in contributing Bayview Glen memorabilia or keepsakes to the Archive or seeing more of our collections (we have over 240 Christmas photographs from 1975!), please contact Mark Fellin by email at mfellin@bayviewglen.ca or by phone at 416.443.1030, Ext. 634

Happy Holidays!