Provided by WorldNow
Each year, American's send some 1.9 billion Christmas and holiday cards. They can thank an overworked civil servant and a British artist for coming up with the idea.
In 1840, Henry Cole was busy with work at the Records Office in London and did not have time to write the customary Christmas letters to family and friends. Instead, he hit upon the idea of asking an artist to prepare his Christmas greetings, and John Colcott Horsley obliged.
The cards were well-received by Cole's friends. So, in 1843, Horsley had 1,000 copies made and sold them all for 1 shilling each. With that, an industry was born.