Vintage Christmas Cards – Sleigh

Recently I came across some family Christmas cards I had designed with the help of my father who owned a letterpress printing press and had cuts (think metal stamps on wooden blocks similar to rubber stamps on wood blocks) made of my drawings. The printing press held an 8×10-inch frame which held the cuts and metal type (letters). Paper was hand-fed into the press which had an electric motor connected with a leather belt which turned the press wheel. From about age 8 and on I earned pocket money running the press to add people’s names to their store-bought Christmas cards, “From the Desk of” notepads and other small print jobs from family and friends.

The five cards that I am sharing this week were created before the computer drawing program Auto-CAD was widely available to individuals. (I know we didn’t have access to digital type fonts that Apple computers offered around that time.) I used rulers, India ink pens and protractors to draw the pop-ups.

My siblings and I think the sleigh postcard was created around 1984 using an image found in a Dover Publications clip art book. (We didn’t document our source as it was an image in the public domain.)

The sleigh was manipulated on a photocopying machine. The image was cut-out twice and one image flipped on its back side and traced with an ink pen. A ruler and protractor were used to create the rectangular shapes and tabs that connected the sides. Rub-on lines were used to create the various thickness of lines and perfect corners.

The instructions, title and tab letters were printed using hand-set type and the cut and pasted onto the drawing. (You can see one of the “F” tabs shows the overlap of paper covering the line.)

These postcards were hand-colored using red makers. We printed 400+ of these cards starting in October.

A few of our friends said they had cut and assembled the sleigh.

Here are other vintage Christmas cards:

  • Sleigh

5 thoughts on “Vintage Christmas Cards – Sleigh

  1. The drawing is so complicated…I don’t know how you ever figured that out, but how fun for your friends to receive cards that they could create Christmas decorations from. Clever!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s