The postal service is something we all take for granted, but without it there would be no convenient way of sending sackloads of cards every year. As a result, the greetings card as we know it didn't appear until the Victorian era when a reliable (and, more importantly, affordable) postal service was created.The first true commercial Christmas card went on sale in 1843. It was designed and printed at the behest of Sir Henry Cole, a businessman and philanthropist, who had played a key role in introducing the Penny Post in 1840. Thanks to the Penny Post, it was possible to send a letter or card anywhere within Britain. Cole was also the director of the newly founded Victoria and Albert Museum in London and it was his idea to give stamps perforated edges (an affectation that self-adhesive stamps retain today, even there is no physical need for them).
Did you know...?
By the late 19th century, there were between six and twelve mail deliveries per day in London, permitting correspondents to exchange multiple letters within a single day. Sounds a bit like email!
These are the last recommended posting date for Christmas 2011
Standard Parcels ~ Wednesday 14 December
Second Class and Recorded Signed For ~ Saturday 17 December
First Class and Recorded Signed For ~ Tuesday 20 December
Parcelforce express 48 ~ Wednesday 21 December
Parcelforce express 24 ~ Thursday 22 December
Special Delivery ~ Thursday 22 December
Special Delivery with Saturday Guarantee ~ Friday 23 December