Lithograph, “The Christmas Tree”. DL*60.2246. Peters Prints Collection.

The Christmas Tree

This sentimental lithographic print is from around 1860. It’s at the National Museum of American History in Washington., but it is not on display there.

Prints like these became popular as an affordable art form for the masses, according to the Smithsonian Institution, which says the prints are a pictorial record of our romanticized past.

This print was hand-colored. Can you imagine having that job?

When is the last time you saw a boy with a Christmas tree just slung over his shoulder like that? What a feat!

Check out that basket of greens the girl is carrying. that seems a bit more realistic.

A Happy Christmas

This chromolithograph is at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in Manhattan. It’s from around 1890.

These kids, dressed as cooks and a kitchen maid, are surely warm, thanks to the crackling fire. It looks like they’re having fun. These kids look like they’re too young to be child laborers.

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