Past Forward

Activating The Henry Ford Archive of Innovation

Easter Greetings and Gatherings

April 18, 2014

Easter greeting card, circa 1885. Featuring a spray of lilies, a Bible quotation, and the Christian cross, the greeting reads, "A Happy Easter to You. (THF114187)

After a long winter, we all naturally welcome the signs of spring! I've selected these greeting cards and photographs from our collections that represent a return to warm weather and new growth in nature.

Easter greeting postcard, circa 1920. Artwork shows biblical story of three women and angel at the tomb of Jesus Christ. The message reads, "May this Easter be for you A time of Joy and Gladness." (THF114197)

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Many people celebrate the Easter holiday as a time to attend church followed by a family gathering. Easter, a Christian ceremony observing the resurrection of Jesus Christ, has also become popular as a secular celebration of the arrival of spring.

Trade card advertising Rosenbloom Brothers business establishment of Providence, Rhode Island, 1882. The artwork features children playing around a gigantic egg, decorating it with a flower garland, ribbons and a U.S. flag. (THF114209)

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Mailing family and friends Easter greeting cards and children waking up the morning of Easter to eggs and candy brought by a rabbit are two examples of activities that became popular in the United States by the 1880s.

Oval-shaped photographic print mounted onto gray cardboard, circa 1895. The photo depicts two young children, probably a sister and brother, holding Easter baskets full of candy in rabbit and egg forms. (THF114216)

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Snapshot photograph printed April 1957. Featuring a man and baby girl, probably dad and daughter, dressed in their Easter best with a fancy Easter basket. They are outdoors in a yard with daffodils in bloom. (THF114228)

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Publishers made greeting cards with themes of a religious nature, but many cards reflected less spiritual, earthly themes of flowers, eggs, rabbits, baby animals and birds that signaled the return of spring.

Easter greeting card, used April 12, 1936. Artwork shows a rabbit holding a radio script and talking into a broadcasting microphone. The message (starting on the front and continuing onto the inside) reads, "I'll Tell the World / I'm Wishing You a Real Happy Easter!" (THF114175)

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Easter greeting card, made circa 1950. Featuring an Easter basket overflowing with spring flowers and a sleeping kitten, the greeting reads, "From Friend to Friend an Easter Wish." (THF114172)

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For more examples of Easter images, go to our online collections and search Easter. I hope this brief journey through time with Easter-related images brings you a breath of springtime!

Cynthia Read Miller is Curator of Photographs and Prints at The Henry Ford

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