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:
5 thoughts on “Vintage Christmas Cards – Sleigh”
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!
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