Miniature Bibles On Greeting Cards

Did you know you can get a patent for a Bible? Not a copyright, but a patent? If so, why did it take until the 1940s? These were some of the questions I had when I discovered this vintage Christmas card with a miniature Bible on it.


The small Bible, measuring 1 by 1 1/2 inches, is tied onto the card with a ribbon. Untie the ribbon, slide it out of the card, and you have a miniature Bible. According to press at the time, the miniature Bible contains 220 pages of the New Testament plus the 23d Psalm.

Made by the Sorin Bible & Card Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio, the back of the card carries the following information:

Copyright 1943 — Patent No. 136006
The use of a miniature Bible and Prayer book on a greeting card is prohibited unless by permission.

In performing searches, I’ve found various other greeting card themes with the little Bible, including this very patriotic one.

As far as I was able to ascertain, the patent lasted about three years… If anyone can add to the story, please share!

Sweet Little Girls Looking For Love At The Opera (Antique Valentine Card)

This antique mechanical Valentine’s Day card features a pair of cute, chubby-cheeked girls. One holds a pair of opera glasses or binoculars and, when you move the section on the back, they move up and down. The girls eyes also move or “google”.

antique mechanical carrington valentine

The text also changes. First it reads:

I’m very very bashful as certain people know


So I’m sending this to ask you if I stand any show

Here it is in action!

The artwork is similar in style to the Campbell’s Soup Kids by Grace Wiederseim Drayton, but there is no mark for the illustrator. The back is marked Carrington, for the George S. Carrington Company, with a ‘G’ in tree logo.

If you are interested in this antique mechanical die-cut valentine, it’s available for purchase in our Etsy shop. Or, you can contact me directly at my dealer’s website, We Have Your Collectibles, home of Fair Oaks Antiques.

vintage antique mechanical valentine carrington card

Vintage DIY Valentines Kit

A vintage kit for making paper Valentines, circa 1940s, from Gibson, the greeting card company. This kit was to make eight different Valentine’s Day cards for “kiddies.”

Inside the box (with charming graphics) there are eight cardboard bases for the cards, eight lace Valentines, two sheets of die-cut graphics to decorate the cards with, and, or course, eight envelopes.

For sale from Jones Antiques.

Vintage Flocked Hallmark Birthday Card

Today is my birthday, so here’s one of my favorite vintage greeting cards to celebrate.

I seriously have a thing for flocked vintage cards — and horses. So this red flocked card of a stuffed toy horse quickly caught my eye.

The inside reads:

This horsey’s stuffed with wishes and here’s what he’s going to do — He’s going to “giddy-up” right now and bring them straight to you.

The back has the Hallmark stamp, with the crown. Card number 10B157-5, copyright Hall Brothers, Inc.

Racist Greeting Card Collecting

George sent in this vintage greeting card…

Along with the following information:

I have a stereotype birthday card from Canada.

It is approx. dated between 1916-1931 by William E. Coutts Co. Ltd.

On the front printed: HAPPY BIRFDAY
(with caricature of small dark child with bright red lips, bow in hair, in dress, holding Good Wishes cards)

OF (and inside card printed, with same picture of girl in
a shy, flirting pose)


(Signed by Tiny)

On the back of card, COPYRIGHT WM. E. COUTTS CO.

Coutts came to Toronto in 1895. In 1916, he founded the William E. Coutts Company, Limited. In 1931, Mr. Coutts entered into a gentlemen’s agreement with Mr. Joyce C. Hall of “Hall Brothers Inc.” and then purchased 40% interest in the William E. Coutts Company, Limited in 1948. The Hall Brothers Company became Hallmark Cards Inc. of Kansas City, Missouri, one of the world’s largest privately held companies.

It is unusual for a black stereotype card to come from a large greeting card company from Canada besides the USA. I cannot find any other Canadian racist examples like mine.

Contact me when you can.

As I told George, most of my cards of this nature I’ve sold. (It’s not just a “make money” thing; I feel these items are better off in the collections of those persons more dedicated to preserving their own history. Yeah, and as a white person, I not only feel that guilt many white people do, but I’m uncomfortable with the idea of being found with such things in my possession — will others know I’m preserving history, or just think I’m a racist who “likes” the things? So unless the items fit into my other areas of collecting, I move them on to other collectors.)  But I have made a number of blog posts about racist items (both items I’ve owned and those I’ve found on the web); most of them can be found at my Kitsch-Slapped blog, under the category Colorful Prism Of Racism.

Yet George’s comment about the US having produced more racist or stereotypical greeting cards is intriguing… I don’t know if that’s a purely anecdotal statement base on what George has seen, or if there’s some data behind it. But it’s an interesting perspective. We Americans sure have a problem accepting our difficulty with race — then and now.

As I noted in my review of The Very Best from Hallmark: Greeting Cards Through the Years, by Ellen Stern, there was no admission of any racist Hallmark greeting cards — and very few cards featuring people of color period. So the documentation of our racist history is probably best left to collectors who are more interested in cultural history than in preserving a pristine corporate image.

Which reminds me that as Americans, we resist calling racist cards what they are, racist. Instead, we call racist depictions of African-Americans “Black Americana.” ( Do Canadians use “Black Canadiana”? I don’t know; you Canadians will have to tell me.) Is it more or less respectful to use such a term?

However, even if using such an intellectual term to white-wash the racist reality of the past seems almost as pejorative as the words and illustrations used, at least it’s some sort of (sideways) recognition. Other racist, prejudicial or stereotypical depictions of races and ethnicities are referred to as “not PC” or “not politically correct,” as if it was just a minor social faux paus that was made. (Ditto gender stereotypes.) So maybe the term “Black Americana” is better than that. I don’t know…

But in any case, help George and I out here.

Share your knowledge and observations on racist and stereotypical vintage greeting cards (and other items too). George is especially interested in Canadian cards, but I’d love to hear from collectors in all countries. What do you call this category of collecting?  Did America produce the most of these items?

Share your thoughts in the comments. Give us links to your posts on this area of collecting. Send me your images and comments via email ( Do all of the above!

Vintage Flocked Hallmark Easter Card

This vintage Easter greeting card features a blond toddler in a flocked bunny suit, exploring his Easter basket full of dyed eggs — the one in his hand has hatched and he’s surprised to meet the chick inside!

On the back, the Hallmark stamp (10E630-5), copyright MCMXIIX (1920) Hall Brothers, Inc.

Vintage Birthday Greetings From Goldilocks & The Three Bears

This vintage greeting card has birthday wishes from Goldilocks and Mama Bear, Papa Bear, and Baby Bear, aka The Three Bears.

Along with the cute illustrations (there are even three bowls of porridge on the back!), this card opens to reveal a four-page storybook!

The story is, naturally, of Goldilocks And The Three Bears.

The back of the card only bears the stock number (565) and Made in U.S.A., but the back of the little story-booklet (also marked 565 and made in the U.S.A., so it’s surely its original mate) says the copyright belongs to A.G.C.C., 1949.

A.G.C.C. made several versions of these greeting cards for children with nursery rhyme story inserts — a great way to begin collecting vintage greeting cards!

Now in our Etsy shop.

Vintage Valentine’s Day Greeting Cards

I’ve posted a lot of other cute, kitschy and even racist vintage Valentine’s Day cards at my other blogs, but it wouldn’t be fair not to show off some of my own vintage greeting cards for this holiday from my collection here, would it? *wink*

The first is an Ameri-Card (# X-6545/8 D) that asks, “‘Hula’ ya luv?”

Second, this vintage die cut, red flocked pony Valentine’s Day greeting card. (Opens up for the poem & signature; marked Whit. O-372A U.S.A)

Last, but not least, a vintage Valentine’s Day card from EFCO (5-9453, Litho in U.S.A.) with “just an old-fashioned girl getting into shape to send you this…”

“Old fashioned Valentine!”

Which is where you see that the pink Xs shown in the hourglass die cut opening that looked like a corset was actually the trim on a less risque card — from an older lady. (I suspect that the man who received this might have been more than a little disappointed, even if he had a good sense of humor. *wink*)