Commerce & Christmas

Once upon a time, companies didn’t just ask you to spend money with them at Christmas, they did simply thank you for your business. Here’s an eclectic mix (mainly but not exclusively from the 1940s/1950s):

Design by Bernard Kaplan, Designers and Illustrators Card
L. R. Klose had good taste in Christmas cards – and they seem to be active still.

I believe that ‘Designers and Illustrators’ are still going strong as ‘American Artists Group‘. If you’re hunting for true ephemera/vintage cards do have a look at Irene Dash Greeting Cards.

Next up: a card from “The Gang at the Louisville Office” of The Underwriters Adjusting Company. This company was purchased in 1966 by The Continental Corporation.

Staying with the ‘property’ theme, here’s a simple yet impressive card from the ‘Patent Scaffolding Co, Inc’. It was a leading company but was taken over by BRAND.

Moving on to ‘white collar’ businesses.. An Accountant:

and a Lawyer (I think this was based in New York and was taken over by Smith Mazure).

A bit more glamour is needed, I think, so here are two film-related cards from the 1960s:

I’ve saved my current favourites ’til last: First, a real cutie (from India, I suspect 1930s/1940s):

I can make out V.V.A. Jamy as signature but have been unable to find anything about the illustrator
Central Cloth Stores in Karur still exists! No website, sadly.

Yes, the next one is rather ‘kitschy’ but why not. I’d be pleased to receive a present in this packaging!

Pretty Polly the brand is 100 years old. Apparently it was named after a highly successful race horse of the time and not the parrot which appeared until the 1960s (this box seems to be from the 1940s).

And here’s a Victorian Greeting which is not from a company but rather plays with the then very popular ‘Beecham’ pills and one of its popular slogans “Worth a Guinea a box’. I do prefer pills of Joy and Cheer and would recommend taking them.

Finally, the cover image shows the ‘The Calart Building’ (Boston); now office spaces under the slightly changed name of ‘Calart Tower’.

Thank you for reading! If you have any information on the companies listed or know something about the illustrators, I would love to hear from you.


  1. Another fabulous post ! Can I help you launch a film star co-ordination unit ?

    Thanks for all the research and for sharing your discoveries !

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