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Happy Birthday today to Sir Henry Cole, born on Dec 9, 1818, in England. Sir Henry is credited for the invention of the first commercial Christmas card, in 1843. He commissioned the artist John Callcott Horsley to draw the picture.
Are you wondering what it looked like? Here it is:
Sir Henry was a civil servant and inventor and is believed to have designed the world’s first adhesive postage stamp, the Penny Black. You may have heard of this stamp, which is not rare although it was printed for only one year. Over 68 million Penny Black stamps were printed. Many have survived because people did not use envelopes. They wrote on one side of a letter sheet, folded the sheet, sealed it, and put the address and stamp on the other side. If the letter was kept, the stamp also survived.
Today we can save some time and effort by sending ecards, many of which are free on the Internet. But nothing replaces the thoughtfulness of a real card, chosen with care and with a friendly personal message written by hand. Expensive? The very best Christmas card is the hand-made one. Try it, your relatives will feel loved.
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