All there is to Christmas

Pretty poinsettia greeting

Pretty poinsettia greeting

This particular card was made by the J. Raymond Howe Company of Chicago. As previously revealed, this was a prolific publisher of greeting cards, especially Christmas cards. They were in business between 1904-1914 or 16. I have found references to both end dates in multiple locations, so I’m going to use the outside timeframe.

An interesting note about the company. An artist and writer wrote to the Writer’s Association in 1918 asking if he had any sort of case against J. Raymond Howe Company. He explained that he had come up with a Christmas sentiment, had it printed, and then mailed to friends, family and business associates. He found a few years later that the J. Raymond Howe Company had been using his text, at times with his name attached to it, and sometimes with the illustration. However, the cards published by Howe carried a copyright. Obviously the artist was upset to see his work claimed by someone else, but according to the Writer’s Association, he did not have a case. They opined that by sending the cards without a copyright on them, he had given his work to the public, and therefore it could be used by anyone. I suspect legal opinions and precedent has changed in the last 100 years, as this sounds like opportunistic plagiarism to me!

Regardless, this card carries a kind sentiment:

All there is to Christmas is the love expressed, so – may it be Christmas to you always!

Signed on the back:

Loving thoughts from the Dybdals to all of you.

Dybdal is a Norwegian name and there are a lot of Dybdals in the Minnesota, Dakotas, Nebraska areas.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. IntenseGuy
    Dec 12, 2014 @ 06:58:22

    That was a dirty trick if they stole it – but it seems like a pretty generic expression – perhaps a form of it was a “popular greeting” back in the day.

    Reply

    • Mrs Marvel
      Dec 15, 2014 @ 09:20:00

      It does seem there are many ways to say the same exact thing and people come up with the same phrasing on their own, only to discover someone else thought of it too. But, using his name…that’s smarmy.

      Reply

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