SIR HENRY COLE (15 July 1808 – 18 April 1882) was a British civil servant and inventor who facilitated many innovations in commerce and education in 19th century in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland . Cole is credited with devising the concept of sending greetings cards at Christmas time, introducing the world's first commercial Christmas card in 1843.
* 1 Biography * 2 Felix Summerly pseudonym * 3 Cole and the exhibitions * 4 Museums * 5 Honours and legacy * 6 References * 7 Further reading * 8 External links
The record office was constituted in 1838 under the Public Record Office Act 1838 , and Cole became one of the four senior assistant-keepers. He ranged a large mass of records in the Carlton House Riding School, where he was placed for the purpose 2 November 1841. His reports upon the unsuitability of this place contributed to bring about the erection of the building in Fetter Lane (begun in 1851). Cole's duties at the record office did not absorb his whole energy. In 1838, with the leave of his superiors, he became secretary to a committee for promoting postal reform. He edited their organ, the _Post Circular_, suggested by himself, of which the first number appeared 14 March 1838. He got up petitions and meetings with such energy that Cobden offered to him in 1839 the secretaryship of the Anti-Cornlaw League. Parliament granted power to carry out the new postal scheme in August 1839, and the treasury offered premiums for the best proposals as to stamps. Cole gained one of the premiums; he attended the treasury to discuss details, and was employed there till the beginning of 1842 in working out the scheme.
From 1837 to 1840, he worked as an assistant to Rowland Hill and
played a key role in the introduction of the
Penny Post . He is
sometimes credited with the design of the world's first postage stamp,
In 1843, Cole introduced the world's first commercial Christmas card , commissioning artist John Callcott Horsley to make the artwork.
FELIX SUMMERLY PSEUDONYM
Cole was personally interested in industrial design, and under the pseudonym FELIX SUMMERLY designed a number of items which went into production, including a prize-winning teapot manufactured by Minton . As Felix Summerly, he also wrote a series of children\'s books , including _A book of stories from The home treasury_; _A hand-book for the architecture, sculpture, tombs, and decorations of Westminster Abbey_ (1859); _An Alphabet of Quadrupeds_ (1844); and _The most delectable history of Reynard the Fox (illustrated with twenty-four coloured pictures by Aldert van Everdingen) (1846)._
COLE AND THE EXHIBITIONS
The 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park .
Through his membership of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce , Cole lobbied government for support for his campaign to improve standards in industrial design. The backing of Prince Albert was secured, and in 1847 a royal charter was granted to the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). Under the patronage of Prince Albert, Cole organised a successful Exhibition of Art Manufactures in 1847, with enlarged exhibitions following in 1848 and 1849.
Cole visited the 1849 11th Quinquennial Paris Exhibition and noticed
the lack of an exhibition open to international participants. He saw
that the RSA's planned exhibitions for 1850 and 1851 could be adapted
into a larger international exhibition, and he secured the backing of
The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations was held in the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London , from 1 May to 15 October 1851, and was an enormous popular and financial success, partially due to the astute management of Henry Cole. _ Cole caricatured, as "King Cole", in Vanity Fair _, 19 August 1871.
As one of the Commissioners, Cole was instrumental in the decision
that the £186,000 surplus from the
Great Exhibition would be used for
improving science and art education in the United Kingdom. Land was
purchased in the
South Kensington area and developed as the centre for
a number of educational and cultural institutions, known half-jokingly
HONOURS AND LEGACY
Cole was instrumental in the development of the National Art Training
School (renamed the
Royal College of Art in 1896) and played a part in
the establishment of many other
South Kensington institutions, such as
Royal College of Music
* ^ _A_ _B_
Christmas card sold for record price BBC News.
Retrieved 12 June 2011
* ^ "World\'s First Christmas Card". British Postal Museum and
Archive. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
* ^ György Buday, George Buday (1992). _The history of the
Christmas card._ p.8. Omnigraphics, 1992
* ^ Earnshaw, Iris (November 2003). "The History of Christmas
Cards". Inverloch Historical Society Inc. Retrieved 25 July 2008.
* ^ "Albertopolis:
_ This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : "Cole, Henry". Dictionary of National Biography _. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
* Bonython, Elizabeth and Anthony Burton _The Great Exhibitor: The Life and Work of Henry Cole_, London: V & A, 2003. * Bonython, Elizabeth _King Cole: A Picture Portrait of Sir Henry Cole_, London, 1985. * Cole, Henry _Fifty years of public work of Sir Henry Cole accounted for in his deeds, speeches and writings_, (in two volumes) London, Bell and Sons, 1884 (Completed by Henrietta and Alan S. Cole after Henry Cole's death). * Design Council Archive – University of Brighton Design Archives (_Journal of Design and Manufactures_ is still not digitised, but is open to researchers) * Journal of Design and Manufactures