People have been sending greetings for thousands of years. Egyptians and Romans exchanged gifts and small tokens at winter solstice to convey good wishes for the coming year.
The modern greeting card, however, is a product of the 19th century, an era that saw enormous advances in both communication and technology. Higher rates of literacy, advancements in printing and postal reform led to a more general acceptance of greeting cards.
Prince Of Wales
- The first birthday card originated in 1850.
- One image that has stood the test of time is of a stagecoach battling through blizzards and snowdrifts, this image first appeared after the coldest winter on record in 1860.
- Hallmark introduced its first Christmas card in 1915.
- In 1929, the Prince of Wales received a card made from a single grain of rice, with a message that had to be read under a microscope.
- After the calendar was invented, only kings celebrated birthdays because no records were kept on the births of common people.
- In Britain, we send 2.2 billion cards per year for all sorts of reasons.
- On average, we Brits send well over 1.5 billion Christmas cards per year.
- Charities estimate that £50m is raised for good causes through the sales of charity Christmas cards each year.
- On average, we buy around 11 million wedding cards, over 34 million anniversary cards and 327 million birthday cards a year.
- In the UK, £1.37 billion was spent on single cards in the last year - More than Tea and Coffee put together!
- In Britain, we also send the the highest number of cards per capita, at circa 35 cards per year.