Introduction to the book by the author
The tradition of sending loved ones greeting cards goes back about 200 years and is more popular today than ever before. With a greeting card being the gift of choice for so many occasions, people are forever on the lookout for one that the recipient won't have seen before. Because this is no easy task, the creatively minded amongst us are choosing to make their own cards. There are many books demonstrating how to make basic cards, but this book goes a considerable step further in showing how to make cards with mechanisms. The mechanisms are based on Victorian and Edwardian designs, and vary from the very simple to the really intricate. But the step-by-step instructions and diagrams provided make even the most complicated form of mechanism achievable. In addition, the materials and equipment needed to make these impressive cards are not extensive or specialist - the main requirements are card, glue and scissors, with wire or thread for the more complex designs.
In December 1991 Laura Seddon, a retired teacher and noted collector of glass and ephemera, donated over 31,500 Victorian and Edwardian greetings cards to Manchester Polytechnic (now Manchester Metropolitan University) in the north of England. The cards, collected over a period of 20 years and mounted in 274 volumes, were published in a catalogue which took Mrs. Seddon 5 years to complete and were intended as a source of reference for those interested in Victorian and Edwardian social history.
My son was working in the art and design department when the catalogues were delivered and noted that several of the volumes contained examples of moving and mechanical cards. Aware that paper engineering had been my interest since childhood he made arrangements for me to view the collection. The original visit was to be for one day but this stretched to monthly visits for many years, during which I was given the opportunity to view other collections and ephemera in the University Special Collection reference section of the library. The British Printer magazines were particularly interesting, giving an insight into printing processes, stationers, card designers and the latest machinery and tools. Ladies' magazines were another source of information, articles appearing annually to coincide with Valentine's Day. In 1995, Mrs. Seddon catalogued and donated her collection of 1,095 Valentine cards to the University and I was given the opportunity to database them. It was entirely through this Manchester contact that I was able to view major card collections in other parts of the country, many of which contained movable cards.
The cards featured in this book are based on Victorian and Edwardian designs, and over the next few pages you'll see some original examples. You'll also discover a little of the history of greetings cards. If you find you're as interested in mechanical cards as I am, I would recommend you visit some of the wonderful collections that open to the public so that you can view the originals for yourself. - Sheila Sturrock
1st edition, 2nd reprint 2010, paperback, 160pp, full colour throughout, packed with photos, illustrations and templates for the cards. 21.2 x 27.5 cm