Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas in (Business) History

We provide today a series of links to sites offering information and reflections on the history of the Christmas holiday, many with business history relevance.
For a large list, see the History News Network's "Hot Topics" list for Christmas, which includes

a 2011 Backstory audiocast featuring historian Stephen Nissenbaum, author of The Battle for Christmas
Gregory McNamee on "Christmas, Cash, and Commodities"
James Sturcke on "The Commercial Roots of Christmas"
Other sites :
The Mahoning Valley Historical Society, which provides short articles on belsnickles, "putz" houses (Christmas villages), and the Shiny Brite ornament company
The company that printed Christmas Seals
Albert Sadacca, Thomas Edison, and the invention of Christmas lights
The Coca-Cola company and its sponsorship of "A Charlie Brown Christmas"
WSJ review of Inventing the Christmas Tree
The history of the Christmas "cracker"
Louis Prang and the American Christmas card, New-York Historical Society
American History through Christmas Cards, Wisconsin Historical Society
Henry Cole and the First Christmas Cards; that first card is here (and above)
History of the National Christmas Tree (Washington, DC)
The FBI on "It's a Wonderful Life" : "a rather obvious attempt to discredit bankers"
Montgomery Ward invents Rudolph (the red-nosed reindeer)
Alfred Loman, Macy's Parade, and Santa's Reindeer
Mark Carr and (possibly) the first retail Christmas tree lot
Thomas Nast, Morristown, NJ, and Santa Claus
Germany exports Christmas Markets
Charles Dickens, the man who invented Christmas--or not?