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Send a Card to a Friend Day is on February 7th, 2024!

Have you ever wondered how Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan sent greeting cards to their friends on the prairie of Zoura? Well, the answer is that they probably didn't. The setting in the Towers of Light series is based on the prairie of the United States in the early 1800's. We know that Ethan was doing his school lessons on a slate with chalk. We also know that messages were being delivered in person, and the ones that were written were very important and were on scrolls sealed with wax. Do you think that there was a post office near their chapel in town? Maybe, they only got mail delivered in person. Unlike today, there wasn't colored paper and art supplies lying around in abundance just waiting for kids to do some afternoon art. Why not take advantage of our modern conveniences and make a card for someone? It just might make their day!

Here are some interesting facts about the U.S. postal system and greeting cards that you may not know:

  • Benjamin Franklin was appointed the United States Postmaster General in 1775

  • The postal service developed long routes called post roads. They eventually became interstates!

  • Mail has been delivered first on foot or horseback, stagecoach, steamboat, and train.

  • Today, a letter is usually sent from New York to San Francisco in less than seven hours. In 1850, it took between four and six weeks.

  • In 1815, the cost of sending a letter with one sheet of paper throughout the country was .25, which is equivalent to $3.65 today. Now, it would cost you less than 50 cents.

  • In the second part of the 1800s, mail volume increased nearly sixteen times faster than the U.S. population.

  • The use of greeting cards increased in the 1800s because of the mail service becoming more widespread and the availability to purchase handmade cards.

  • According to research from the Greeting Card Association, Americans buy about 6.5 billion greeting cards every year!

Card Making Ideas:

  • Try writing with a quill and ink. If you don't have a quill, you can use a feather and cut off the end at an angle to make a tip for writing.

  • Try gluing a shape on the inside of your card so that it "pops up" when opened.

  • Decorate your cards with buttons and string.

  • Decorate your card with some quilling: cut paper into long thin strips. Then wrap them around something thin like a pencil. Glue the coiled pieces into a paper frame shape of your choice.

  • Make a card decorated in an 1800s prairie theme: pick an animal, or do a prairie picture on the front.

  • Make a card with a Towers of Light theme: draw a picture of the Tower of Light or the lantern and invite others to "shine their light."

  • Look at the picture examples below of 1800s greeting cards and others online. Make your own in that style.

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