Henry Cole's Christmas Cards 

 In 1843 Henry Cole commissioned an artist called John Callcott Horsley to design a card for Christmas.

Horsely came up with a design that showed a family sitting around a dinner table. On either side of the family were pictures of people carrying out acts of charity - clothing, and feeding the poor. Below the family was a banner that announce 'A Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year To You'.

Before the Christmas Cards were invented, people used to send letters to their loved ones around the christmas period. Henry Cole wanted to create an easier way to send seasons greetings, so he created the christmas card that could be sent in place of a letter.

At one shilling each, these were pricey for ordinary Victorians and so were not immediately accessible. However the sentiment caught on and many children - Queen Victoria's included – were encouraged to make their own Christmas cards. With the introduction of the halfpenny postage rate, the Christmas card industry took off.