Greeting Cards Collection

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Collection Title: Greeting Cards Collection

Collection Number: 197

Dates of Collection: 1790-1995, bulk 1860-1979

Box Numbers: 1 - 21, Shelved Items

Repositiory: Chester County Historical Society

Project Archivist: Seth Wheeler, Intern

Biography:

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Biography: 

Sending greeting cards to friends and family is a tradition that dates back as far as the 1400s in Europe. Early greeting cards were hand-delivered and quite expensive, but they gained popularity with the introduction of the postage stamp in 1840. Valentines cards became the first greeting cards to be circulated, but other major holidays including New Year’s, Christmas, and Easter, followed suit in the late 1800s as advances in printing technology made it affordable for anyone to buy and send cards to friends and relatives. Greeting cards began to be assembled in factories and widely distributed to the general public. In Chester County, this trend is apparent. The earliest greeting cards in the collection are Valentine cards that date back to the 1790s, and the great bulk of the collection comprises major holidays from the late 1800s to the late 1900s. Postcards became a popular and cheap alternative to the greeting card in the same time frame for Chester County residents, reaching their height in usage from 1900 to 1920. There is a variety of postcards in the collection; the majority of them are Christmas-related. With the exchange of New Year’s, Valentine’s, Easter, Christmas, and birthdays, along with many other holidays and special occasion cards, greetings card are still popular today to extend expressions of friendship and good sentiments.

There were previous arrangement attempts of the Greeting Cards Collection. Early efforts were led by Rosemary Phillips, the librarian from 1975-1995. Phillips was the first professionally trained librarian at Chester County Historical Society. Phillips arranged parts of the collection in the 1980s and 1990s, but did not finish it. Researchers will find that Boxes 10-13 are organized by topic through Rosemary Phillips’s organization system.

Resources Used:

Doherty, Peter. “A Valentine’s Day History Lesson.” Greeting Card Association, February 9, 2017. https://www.greetingcard.org/a-valentines-day-history-lesson/. 

“The History of Greeting Cards.” Greeting Card Association, July 26, 2016. https://www.greetingcard.org/industry-resources/history/.

"The History of Greeting Cards." Emotion Greeting Cards, 2007. May 30, 2017. http://www.emotionscards.com/museum/history.html.

Collection Scope:

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Collection Scope: 

The collection consists of a variety of greeting cards and postcards. They were exchanged among friends, family, colleagues, and significant others that resided in Chester County. The bulk of them are for major holidays. Major holidays include New Year’s/birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and Easter. There is a smaller portion of the collection for minor holidays, such as Memorial Day and Mother’s Day.

Collection Arrangement:

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Collection Arrangement: 

The collection is organized mostly by date and the appropriate holiday. However, a portion of the collection is organized by topic. Topic is the primary system of organization for Boxes 10-13 of the Christmas Cards section of the collection.

Related Material:

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Collection Contents:

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Collection Contents: 

Box 1

Birthday: 1878-1961, New Year’s: 1870s-1929

  1. Birthday Cards-Undated
  2. Birthday Cards Post 1970s
  3. New Year Greeting Cards 1877-1886
  4. Hebrew/Jewish New Year Greeting Cards 1960s
  5. New Year’s: 1902-1912
  6. New Year’s: 1870-1879
  7. New Year’s: 1900-1910
  8. New Year’s 1910-1919
  9. New Year’s: 1920s-1940s
  10. New Year’s: Undated
  11. Birthday Cards: Some undated, 1878- 1899
  12. Birthday Cards: 1910-1961
  13. Birthday Cards: Undated, l870s-1890s?
  14. Birthday Cards: 1880s?
  15. Birthday Cards 1906-1909

Box 2

Valentines: 1790-1897

  1. Valentines: 1870s
  2. Valentines: 1879
  3. Valentines: 1878
  4. Valentines: 1870s
  5. Valentines: 1876
  6. Valentines: 1873
  7. Valentines: 1871
  8. Valentines: 1810
  9. Valentines:1790-1800
  10. Valentines Greeting Cards: 1820s
  11. Valentines Cards/Illustrations: 1810s-1820s
  12. Valentines Greeting Cards: 1813-1819  
  13. Valentines: 1845
  14. Valentines: 1846, handwritten w/ envelope
  15. Valentines: 1847
  16. Ernest Nister Valentines Greeting Cards: late 1800s, 1877-1890s
  17. Valentines: 1836
  18. Mean Valentines papers: 1890s
  19. Valentines: 1840
  20. Valentines: 1849
  21. Valentines: 1850
  22. Valentines: 1851
  23. Valentines: 1853
  24. Valentines: 1850s undated
  25. Valentines: 1855
  26. Valentines: 1856
  27. Valentines: 1857
  28. Valentines: 1859
  29. Valentines from friendship album of Elmira Jefferis Me’e Charington album dated 1844-1879
  30. Valentines: 1850s    
  31. Valentines: 1859
  32. Valentines: 1860
  33. Valentines: 1866
  34. Valentines: 1867
  35. Valentines: 1868
  36. Valentines: 1874
  37. Valentines: 1875
  38. Valentines: 1880s
  39. Valentines: 1884
  40. Valentines: 1880
  41. Valentines: 1881
  42. Valentines: 1882
  43. Valentines: 1883
  44. Valentines: Undated, 1870s
  45. Valentines: 1880s
  46. Valentines: 1880s
  47. Valentines: 1880s-1890s               
  48. Pop-up Valentine Card: 1890s
  49. Valentines: 1880s
  50. Valentines: 1885
  51. Valentines: 1891
  52. Valentines: 1892
  53. Valentines: 1893
  54. Valentines: 1894
  55. Valentines: 1894
  56. Valentines: 1895
  57. Valentines: 1896
  58. Valentines: 1897
  59. Valentines: 1897                
  60. Comic Valentines by McLoughlan Bros. 1850-1875

Box 3

Valentines: 1898-1911

  1. Valentines: 1905
  2. Valentines: 1898
  3. Valentines: 1899
  4. Valentines: 1900
  5. Valentines: 1901
  6. Valentines: 1902
  7. Valentines: 1902
  8. Valentines: 1902
  9. Valentines: 1903
  10. Valentines: 1903
  11. Valentines: 1903
  12. Valentines: 1904
  13. Valentines: 1905
  14. Valentines: mostly 1905, a few 1908
  15. Valentines: 1905-1909
  16. Valentines: 1905, 1906, 1908
  17. Valentines: 1908
  18. Valentines: 1909
  19. Valentines: 1908
  20. Valentines: 1910-1911
  21. Valentines: 1908

Box 4

Valentines: 1910-1970s

  1. Valentines: 1965          
  2. Valentines: 1960s          
  3. Valentines: 1967          
  4. Valentines: 1973        
  5. Valentines: 1970s
  6. “Little LuLu”-Marjorie Henderson: 1946
  7. Valentines: 1960-1961
  8. Valentines: 1962
  9. Valentines: 1963           
  10. Valentines: 1964
  11. Valentines: 1940, 1945
  12. Valentines: 1959
  13. Valentines: 1958             
  14. Valentines: 1957              
  15. Valentines: 1956
  16. Valentines: 1955
  17. Valentines: 1954
  18. Valentines: 1953            
  19. Valentines: 1951            
  20. Valentines: 1950
  21. Valentines: 1940s            
  22. Valentines: 1949
  23. Valentines: 1947
  24. Valentines: 1946
  25. Valentines: 1945
  26. Valentines: 1943
  27. Valentines: 1944
  28. Valentines: 1942
  29. Valentines: 1941
  30. Valentines: 1920s
  31. Valentines: 1920
  32. Valentines: 1922
  33. Valentines: 1921
  34. Valentines: 1924
  35. Valentines: 1923
  36. Valentines: 1919
  37. Valentines: 1918
  38. Valentines: 1916
  39. Valentines: 1917
  40. Valentines: 1913
  41. Valentines: 1914
  42. Valentines: 1914
  43. Valentines: 1911
  44. Valentines: 1912
  45. Valentines: 1910-1915

Box 5

Valentines: 1926-1939

  1. Valentines: 1926
  2. Valentines: 1927
  3. Valentines: 1928
  4. Valentines: 1929
  5. Valentines: 1930s
  6. Valentines: 1930
  7. Valentines: 1931
  8. Valentines: 1932
  9. Valentines: 1933
  10. Valentines: 1934
  11. Valentines: 1935
  12. Valentines: 1936
  13. Valentines: 1937
  14. Valentines: 1938
  15. Valentines: 1939

Box 6

Valentines & Greeting Cards (late 20th Century, mostly Bart Anderson)

  1. Valentines Greeting cards (homemade and printed), 1990s.
  2. Valentine (homemade) 1991. Donor: Bart Anderson.
  3. Get Well cards, 1991. Donor: Bart Anderson.
  4. Birthday cards, 1991. Donor: Bart Anderson.
  5. Articulated Valentine: “My Heart is Thine”, 1977. Donor: Mrs. Vincent Gilpin
  6. Valentines, handmade by students at W.C. Friends School. 1990. Donor: Bart Anderson.
  7. Birthday Cards, 1991.

Box 7

Valentines: Undated

  1. Valentine Papers, Cards, Tags: undated.
  2. Valentines (2) Includes small booklet “The Ladies and Gentlemen Sentimental and Quizzical Valentine Writer” mentions Miss Elizabeth Mendenhall, West Chester.
  3. Embossed Valentines Cards. Donors: Francis James O’Brien 1967, Mrs. Wendell Oliver.
  4. Valentines (6). Donor: Frances Henry Green.
  5. Valentines (1). Donor: Ruth B. Perera, 1976.    
  6. Valentines (2). Donor: Unknown.
  7. Valentines (4). One marked with initials “EBC”.
  8. Valentines (4). Includes several African American and one with handwriting and initials “EKR”.
  9. Valentines (1). Greeting Card Collage.
  10. Embossed and Folding Valentines (3). Donor: Mary B. Moon.
  11. Valentines (6 Pop-ups). Donor: Mrs. John Parker,
  12. Valentines (2). Donor: Unknown.
  13. Valentines (2). Donor: Unknown.
  14. Valentines (7). Donor: Unknown.
  15. Valentines (3). Donor: Mrs. Buell, Malvern, Pa.
  16. Valentines. Pop-up Cards, E.P. Dutton fan card. Includes Make-Your-Own kit.
  17. Fabric Mounted Collage Valentines Cards.
  18. Fabric Mounted Collage Valentines Card (1). Mirror in the center.
  19. Valentines: 6 women with crepe paper skirts.
  20. Embossed and paper Valentines (18) Cards. Donor: Wendell Oliver.
  21. Valentines (8). Some embossed, some collages, some hearted shaped cards.
  22. Valentines (4). Mounted and unmounted Pop-up cards.
  23. Valentines (23). Donation: Isabel S.W. Phillips Estate.
  24. Valentines (3).
  25. Valentines (22). Post Cards and Humor Cards.
  26. Valentines (8). Some mounted.
  27. Valentines (18). Some mounted.
  28. Valentines (12). Some mounted.
  29. Valentines (10). Donor: Vincent Gilpin.
  30. Valentines (3). 2 Pop-ups and 1 Post Card.
  31. Valentines (13).
  32. Valentines (9).
  33. Valentines (18). Some are mounted, some are not.
  34. Valentines (2). African American cards.

Note: 1-7 entries have “Check Comic Valentine folder”

 

Box 8

Christmas: 1940-1969

  1. 1935-1952 cards
  2. World War II cards, 1943-1944
  3. Miscellaneous Xmas Cards, 1960s.
  4. Christmas Cards- Baldwin’s Electric Co., West Chester, 1950s.
  5. Mounted Christmas Cards, 1940-1944.
  6. Mounted Christmas Cards, 1945-1949.
  7. Mounted Christmas Cards, 1950-1954.
  8. Mounted Christmas Cards, 1955.
  9. Mounted Christmas Cards, 1957.
  10. Mounted Christmas Cards, 1958.
  11. Mounted Christmas Cards, 1959.
  12. Mounted Christmas Cards, 1956.
  13. Christmas 1965.
  14. Christmas 1968 (contains seeds).
  15. 8 folders of “Christmas 1968.”
  16. Rene Sharples Christmas Cards 1940s-1950s.
  17. Christmas Cards 1968.
  18. 4 folders of “Christmas 1969.”
  19. Christmas Cards 1969.

Box 9

Christmas/New Year’s Cards: 1960s-1970s

  1. Greeting Cards- Christmas Reference Materials 1960s
  2. Christmas 1960.
  3. Christmas 1961.
  4. Christmas 1962.
  5. Christmas 1963.
  6. Christmas 1964.
  7. Christmas 1965.
  8. Christmas 1966.
  9. Christmas 1967.
  10. 9 folders of Christmas/New Year’s Greeting Cards 1970s
  11. 2 folders of Christmas 1970s.
  12. Christmas Cards Post 1970s.

Box 10: 60 envelopes

Christmas Greeting Cards, Postcards, and other Holidays. Boxes 10-13. Organized by topic and makers

  1. Christmas: A-E Persons & Families.
  2. Christmas: Person & Families, F-L.
  3. Christmas Cards: General subjects (old cards).
  4. Animated: old Christmas Cards.
  5. Christmas Cards- Santas+ Father Christmas.
  6. Christmas Cards: Comic (ind. Comic verse).
  7. Christmas: Persons+Families, M-Z.
  8. Christmas: Cards: Presidents + Political Cards. Hoover, Herbert.
  9. Christmas: Historic Houses+Institutions.
  10. Christmas: Street Scenes.
  11. Xmas View- Philadelphia City Hall.
  12. Christmas: Celebrations + Special Occasions.
  13. Christmas letters.
  14. Christmas Cards: Institutions + Historic Houses, buildings, etc.
  15. Christmas, Sports.
  16. Xmas: Military- Navy.
  17. Bufford: Xmas.
  18. Castell Bros. Xmas.
  19. Chas. Caswell, Birmingham, England. Xmas.
  20. Xmas: Campbell Art Co.
  21. Christmas Cards: Dennison’s.
  22. Thos. De La Rve-London, Xmas.
  23. Xmas Dean & Son (London).
  24. Eyre & Spottiswoode, London. Xmas.
  25. Gibson, Goodall, W. Hagelsberg. Xmas.
  26. S. Hildesheimer. Xmas.
  27. Hildesheimer + Faulkner. Xmas.
  28. Ladd. Xmas.
  29. Misc. A.M. Daves, London, Campbell + Tudhope, Glascow, B. Oltendorff, Berlin, Misch + Co., London, Robinson England Co., Boston, G. Taber, New Bedford, Mass, Bovasse Lebel, Paris, Lamarche, Paris, Societe’ St. Augustin?, Mowbrays, England, Hallmark, Dudley Chase, Boston.
  30. Early 1900s Christmas Cards. Xmas
  31. 3 folders of “Prang, Christmas Cards.”
  32. Christian Endeavor, Christmas Cards.
  33. J.F. Schipper, Christmas Cards.
  34. Tuck, Christmas Cards.
  35. 4 folders of “R. Tuck, Christmas Cards.
  36. Trank Vernon, Christmas Cards.
  37. Marcus Ward, Christmas Cards.
  38. Wirth Bros. + Owen, Christmas Cards.
  39. Winslow Papers, Inc. Christmas Cards.
  40. Artists: Currier + Ives, Christmas Cards.
  41. Kate Greenaway, Christmas Cards.
  42. Artists: F. Corbyn Price.
  43. Rene Sharples, Christmas Cards.
  44. Norman Rockwell, Christmas Cards. Donor: Bart Anderson.
  45. Christmas post cards. flowers, Christmas greens.
  46. Xmas: Artists.
  47. N.C. Wyeth. Christmas Cards.
  48. Christmas, general. 20th Century. Donor: Bart Anderson.
  49. Obpacher Bros, Munich-1890. Later “Art Lithographic Co.” NY+London
  50. Christmas Post Cards. Donor: Russell G. Smith.
  51. Commercially Unprinted Cards. Alison, Meredith, Brinton, others. Christmas.
  52. Christmas Postcards: Santa+Transportation. (Cars boats, airplanes, balloons, etc.)
  53. Christmas Postcards: Santa: Communication Motif. (Telephone, phonograph, telegraph, etc.)
  54. Christmas Postcards-Animals+Birds.
  55. Christmas Postcards. Other: non-religious, non-Santa.

Box 11: 60 envelopes

  1. Animated (old), Christmas Cards
  2. Dolls, Christmas Cards.
  3. Animated (1990s), Christmas.
  4. Christmas Cards, 1990s.
  5. Christmas, general. (1990s).
  6. Animated. Nativity Scene, Articulated Religions, Christmas Cards.
  7. Religious, Christmas Cards.
  8. Handmade Christmas Cards.
  9. Birds, Christmas Cards.
  10. Horses & hunting, Christmas Cards
  11. 20th century (1993), Christmas Cards. Donor: Rosemary Philips
  12. Animals: Dogs, Christmas Cards
  13. Animals, miscellaneous, Christmas Cards.
  14. Cats, Christmas cards.
  15. Christmas, Comic.
  16. German Card Angels decorating a tree, Animated Christmas Cards.
  17. 2 folders of “Fringed Christmas Cards- Unmarked.”
  18. Christmas Cards, Santa.
  19. Xmas Trees, Christmas Cards
  20. Children, Christmas Cards
  21. Subject: Angels and fairies. Christmas Cards
  22. Subject: Floral and fruit. Christmas Cards
  23. Poetry, Christmas Cards
  24. 2 folders of “Ornaments, Christmas Cards.”
  25. 2 folders of “Christmas Booklet.”
  26. Prang, Christmas Booklet.
  27. Advent Calendar Cards, Christmas
  28. Valentines, Comic.
  29. Valentines, Children.
  30. Easter Cards.
  31. Easter Cards, fringed.
  32. Prang, Easter.
  33. Thanksgiving postcards.
  34. St. Patrick’s Day, Daylesford Abbey. 1991.
  35. Other Greeting Cards: poetry.
  36. Other Greeting Cards: artist.
  37. Other Greeting Cards: birthday.
  38. Other Greeting Cards: father’s day.
  39. Postcards, floral.
  40. Postcards, paper doll reproductions.
  41. Postcards, Thanksgiving. 
  42. Postcards, Easter Cards.
  43. Postcards, Valentines.
  44. Postcards, Birthday.
  45. Ladd & Co. Wirth Bros & Owen. New Year’s Cards
  46. New Year’s Cards, (Fringed and Unmarked).
  47. Postcards, New Year’s Cards.
  48. New Year Cards.
  49. Advertising Cards, Christmas.
  50. Advertising Cards: Xmas Subjects.
  51. Advertising Cards: Xmas.
  52. Advertising Cards: Paper dolls.
  53. Advertising Cards: Celebrations.
  54. Misc. handmade cards: Christmas.
  55. Notecards: local views.
  56. Uncatalogued, Religious.

Box 12: 8 envelopes

Christmas cards (uncatalogued)

  1. Not catalogued-Floral (Unmarked)
  2. Uncatalogued-Floral (Unmarked)
  3. Not catalogued- Scenes, Views, Landscape (unmarked)
  4. Not catalogued-fragments (unmarked)
  5. Local Interest- Misc. (uncatalogued). Book sales- D.M. Macfarlane (1911-1915) & C.C. Sanderson (1917). Telegram-1914.
  6. Uncatalogued-Misc.
  7. Misc. Cards, 1993.
  8. Xmas Cards, 1995.
  9. Miscellaneous Cards 1970s-1980s.

Box 13: 4 folders, 3 envelopes, 7 Wrapped Paper

Christmas Postcards

  1. Christmas Postcards, 1900s-1910s.
  2. Christmas Postcards Santa images (horizontal views) circa 1906-1928.
  3. Xmas Postcards, 1907-1937.
  4. Christmas Postcards, 1907-1923.
  5. Santa Claus Christmas Postcards 1905-1925 Pt.1.
  6. Santa Claus Christmas Postcards 1905-1925 Pt.2.
  7. Christmas Postcards circa 1906-1916.
  8. Penny Postcards Santa Images (vertical) circa 1905-1913.
  9. Penny Postcards Santa and Children (vertical) 1901-1922.
  10. Penny Postcards Santa motif (vertical) circa 1907-1919.
  11. Penny Postcards Santa Claus (horizontal) 1907-1913.
  12. Penny Postcards, 1903-1927. Non-Santa Claus Subjects. Children & Angels.
  13. Penny Postcards, Santa with Children (horizontal) 1906-1917.
  14. Santa Claus Penny Postcards, 1901-1913.

Box 14

Miscellaneous Cards and Holidays

  1. True Miscellaneous cards (1868-1870s).
  2. Collectible College Girls Postcards, 1905.
  3. 1870s-1880s Trade Cards (Lithographs and Artwork).
  4. Various Purpose/Miscellaneous
  5. Undated Hello Cards
  6. Love and Affection Greeting Cards 1880-1920.
  7. Sympathy/Get Well Cards 1910-1951 (mounted).
  8. Calling Cards.
  9. Merit Award Cards 1800s.
  10. Merit Cards 1800s (mounted).
  11. Fourth of July, 1899-1912.
  12. Friendship Cards (mounted), 1862-1882.
  13. Friendship Cards, 1871-1928.
  14. Presidents postcards.
  15. Religious.
  16. Halloween postcards.
  17. St. Patrick’s Day postcards.
  18. George Washington’s Birthday postcards.
  19. General greetings.
  20. Abraham Lincoln postcards.
  21. Abraham Lincoln greeting cards (mounted).
  22. Memorial Day- “Decoration Day”.
  23. Memorial Day postcards (mounted).
  24. Patriotic/Military Themed postcards.
  25. Thanksgiving postcards.
  26. Miscellaneous Cards: May Day, Mother’s Day, Sunday School, Comic Birthday, and others.
  27. WWI era propaganda postcards.
  28. WWII postcards.
  29. WWI & WWII Propaganda Christmas cards (mounted).
  30. WWI & WWII Propaganda cards (mounted).
  31. 1940s & 1950s Get-Well cards.
  32. Undated Miscellaneous Cards: Award of Merit, Greetings of the Season, Travel cards, and Best Wishes cards

Box 15: 3 folders

Leather Postcards: 1905-1907

  1. 2 folders of “Leather Postcards 1907”.
  2. Leather Postcards: 1905-1907 (mounted).

Box 16

Christmas Greeting Cards: 1860s-1929

  1. Unidentified Publishers, 1860s.
  2. Unidentified Publishers, 1888.
  3. Christmas Cards, 1880s-1890s.
  4. World War I.
  5. Unidentified Publishers, 1910-1920.
  6. Unidentified Publishers, not dated.
  7. Unidentified Publishers, 1900-1910.
  8. Local Card Publishers, 1877-1900s.
  9. 1920s Christmas Cards.
  10. Christmas Cards 1915 (mounted).
  11. Christmas Cards 1920-1924 (mounted).
  12. Christmas Cards 1925-1929 (mounted).

Box 17

Christmas Greeting Cards: 1930-1939

  1. 1930s Greeting Cards.
  2. 1930-1934 Greeting Cards (mounted).
  3. 1935-1939 Greeting Cards (mounted).

Box 18

Easter Greeting Cards: undated/1876-1890s

  1. Undated Easter Cards.
  2. Easter Cards, 1880-1889 (mounted).
  3. Easter Cards, 1890s (mounted).
  4. Easter Cards (undated and mounted).
  5. Easter Cards (undated and mounted).
  6. Easter Cards, 1870s (mounted).

Box 19

Easter Greeting Cards 1905-1960

  1. Easter/“Spring” cards 1900s.
  2. Easter cards, 1905-1909 (mounted).
  3. Easter Greeting cards, 1906-1913.
  4. Easter cards, 1910-1919 (mounted).
  5. Easter cards, 1920s (mounted).
  6. Easter cards, 1935-1952 (mounted).
  7. Easter cards, 1956-1959 (mounted).
  8. Easter cards, 1960s.

Box 20

Calling Cards

Box 21

Three-Dimensional Cards. 1848-1977. Donors: Mrs. J.H. Darlington, Mrs. Dorothy Collins, Conrad Wilson.

On Shelf

Marketing Christmas Cards: 3 boxes, 1950s.