The Origins Of Greeting Cards

December 07, 2021

The Origins Of Greeting Cards

In a time where it feels like greeting cards have dropped significantly in popularity, it is interesting to take a look back to see where greeting cards originated from.

From my reading, it can be seen that greeting cards date back to both the Ancient Chinese who exchanged messages of goodwill to celebrate the New Year, this was believed to help ward off a legendary monster called Nien and to the early Egyptians Pharaohs who used papyrus scrolls to exchange greetings.

In the early 1400's in Germany, greeting cards were made using woodcuts, a relief print-making technique where the artist carved the card's design into a wood-block surface. Also at this time  in Europe selling and exchanging handmade greeting cards became popular.  These cards were very elaborate, akin to pieces of art.  

In the 1500's Valentines and Christmas cards became the most widely exchanged cards but usually only the rich could afford to send cards.

During the 1800's there was an surge in the use of greeting cards, largely because of the introduction of a postal service which was accessible to everyone, not just the rich. During this time, handmade cards also became commercially available so there was a greater opportunity to source and send cards.

In the 1900's greeting cards became popular for all occasions including Christmas, birthdays, births, marriages, Valentine's as well as to offer sympathy and acknowledgement.

So as you can see, the want to send special messages and sentiments in a card has been around for a very long time and although it feels like handmade and commercially made cards have reduced in popularity in recent times when all wishes seem to be made via a Facebook post or a text message, there really is nothing that compares to receiving a handmade card in your letter box. 

A handmade card has a personal touch and shows the recipient how much you care.  It is thoughtful and caring and a great way to share the love! It will no doubt take pride of place on the mantlepiece, or the 2021 equivalent thereof!!


Leave a comment