Thank You Cards Through History!

Photography Blog • 19th Aug, 16 • 0 Comments

Thank You Cards Through History!

According to Advanced Etiquette, the ‘bible’ of etiquette, "a personal, handwritten, thank-you note is the finest form of expressing gratitude". Last week you may remember that we reported that many of our couples are now asking that we take photographs specifically intended for use in a ‘Thank You’ card and a couple of further examples can be seen above.

You may also be interested to know that thank you notes and cards have been around since the earliest Egyptian and Chinese civilisations when they used slips of papyrus to write Thank You’s.

And in her excellent piece on the history of the thank you note, Jennifer Dermody at eHow.com, tells us that the fashion developed in Europe during the 15th Century when such notes and cards became an everyday part of social interaction before a chap called Pouis Prang brought the practice from Germany to his new home in America in 1856.

Well, what a Ding Dang Do!, as we say here in Bolton.

Our Best 6 Thank You Cards Ever!

With a lot of help from the brilliant domain “Letters of Note”, we have put together six of the best Thank You notes of all time! Here they are, in no particular order . . .

1. Thank you for the Wedding Invite, so sorry for getting hideously drunk!

Getting drunk as a skunk at a wedding party and embarrassing yourself rigid is definitely nothing new to man and women kind. Way, way back in 9th Century China, the wonderfully named 'Dunhuang Bureau of Etiquette' laid down a law to make local officials use the following template (dated AD856) for use when sending out notes of apology to wedding hosts that had been deeply offended by the behaviour of their guests. The drunken/guilty party would copy the template text, then enter the wedding host's name, personally sign the letter and then hand deliver it to the couple with their head bowed low. This letter was discovered, alongside thousands of other documents, in a sealed cave library in western China. Here it is, enjoy!

“Dear xxxxxxx

Yesterday, having drunk too much, I was intoxicated as to pass all bounds; but none of the rude and coarse language I used was uttered in a conscious state. The next morning, after hearing others speak on the subject, I realised what had happened, whereupon I was overwhelmed with confusion and ready to sink into the earth with shame.

Yours sincerely xxxxxxxxx”

2. Thank you for the music – you are the hippest of cats!

Audrey Hepburn just could not contain herself when she heard the music to her latest film and promptly knocked out this thank you note to the composer, the amazing Henry Mancini;

“Dear Henry,

I have just seen our picture – BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S – this time with your score.

A movie without music is a little bit like an aeroplane without fuel. However beautifully the job is done, we are still on the ground and in a world of reality. Your music has lifted us all up and sent us soaring. Everything we cannot say with words or show with action you have expressed for us. You have done this with so much imagination, fun and beauty.

You are the hippest of cats – and the most sensitive of composers!

Thank you, dear Hank.

Lots of love

Audrey [Hepburn]”

3. My real name is David Jones – but nobody is going to make a Monkee out of me!

David Bowie was just 20 years of age and yet to make much of an impression anywhere in the international music scene when he received his first piece of fan mail from America in September of 1967 from Sandra Dodd ,a 14-year-old resident of New Mexico. Young Bowie was so excited to receive worship from across the Atlantic that he immediately typed out this sweet reply on his manager's typewriter;

“Dear Sandra,

When I called in this, my manager's office, a few moments ago I was handed my very first American fan letter - and it was from you. I was so pleased that I had to sit down and type an immediate reply, even though Ken is shouting at me to get on with a script he badly needs. That can wiat (wi-at? That's a new English word which means wait).

I've been waiting for some reaction to the album from American listeners. There were reviews in Billboard and Cash Box, but they were by professional critics and they rarely reflect the opinions of the public. The critics were very flattering however. They even liked the single "Love You Till Tuesday". I've got a copy of the American album and they've printed the picture a little yellow. I'm really not that blond. I think the picture on the back is more 'me'. Hope you like those enclosed.

In answer to your questions, my real name is David Jones and I don't have to tell you why I changed it. "Nobody's going to make a monkey out of you" said my manager. My birthday is January 8th and I guess I'm 5'10". There is a Fan Club here in England, but if things go well in the States then we'll have one there I suppose. It's a little early to even think about it.

I hope one day to get to America. My manager tells me lots about it as he has been there many times with other acts he manages. I was watching an old film on TV the other night called "No Down Payment" a great film, but rather depressing if it is a true reflection of The American Way Of Life. However, shortly after that they showed a documentary about Robert Frost the American poet, filmed mainly at his home in Vermont, and that evened the score. I am sure that that is nearer the real America. I made my first movie last week. Just a fifteen minutes short, but it gave me some good experience for a full length deal I have starting in January.

Thank you for being so kind as to write to me and do please write again and let me know some more about yourself.

Yours sincerely,

(Signed, 'David Bowie')”

4. Thank you for the fine motor, Henry!

I think that we all agree that when a product has served you particularly well, it’s always nice to write an appreciative letter to the people at the company who made it. This one comes, allegedly, from Clyde Barrow, of Bonnie and Clyde notoriety who apparently sent it to Henry Ford shortly before his death (Clyde that is, not Henry!);

“Dear Sir: -

While I still have got breath in my lungs I will tell you what a dandy car you make. I have drove Fords exclusivly when I could get away with one. For sustained speed and freedom from trouble the Ford has got ever other car skinned and even if my business hasen't been strickly legal it don't hurt enything to tell you what a fine car you got in the V8 -

Yours truly

Clyde Champion Barrow”

5. Thank you for giving my mum flowers and chocs, now go and wash my car!

In the very early days of Beatlemania back in 1962, George Harrison wrote this typically light hearted letter - and hopefully, tongue-in-cheek! - to a young Beatles’ fan providing a very detailed, step-by-step guide on how to wash and clean his car. It's worth noting that the owner of said Ford Classic that was about to get grimed up at Forthlin Road, Liverpool as mentioned in step 7, was a certain Paul James McCartney!

“Dear Susan,

I hope you had a good chrimbo, and have a happy nuclear too. Thank you for giving my mum flowers and chocs. [It was you wasn't it??] Thanks also for the card, in fact THANKS A HEAP SUSAN.

Instructions for washing car:-

1/. Use plenty of soapy clean water, preferably warm.

2/. When car is [though it may take a lot of water]- clean, leave to dry off for about 20 minutes. [You can have a cup of tea now].

3/ Now ask mother to find some dusters, [2 each] and with the polish, apply with no.1 duster over an area of about 1 sq foot at a time, in a circular motion. Don't leave it too long before polishing off. This should be carried out until the car is spotless, and gleaming clean. [Don't forget the wheels!]

4/. Take 1 brush or vacuum cleaner, and have a bash at the carpets. They too can be made to look like new.

5/. The windows [interior] should be polished now, after which you can retire for another tea.

6/. Before returning home, I suggest you look over the car again, for any parts you may have missed out, on finding, they should be cleaned accordingly.

7/. Now proceed to 20 Forthlin RD. with about 6 buckets full of dirty muddy greasey water, where a shiney Ford Classic will be seen. Spread contents of the buckets evenly, so as to leave a nice film of muck over the car. You can now return home knowing you have done your deed for the day. Thank you!!!

Proceedings should be carried out about the 8th of January.

Thanks again for the cheerio for now don't forget Ban the Bog.

Love from George xxxxxx”

6. Thank you for not hitting me!

12 years’ later in a land far, far away John Lennon showed up with Harry Nilsson to LA’s Troubadour club in a state of drunken stupor and proceeded to persistently heckle the Smothers Brothers during their act. This situation quickly deteriorated and a massive scrap kicked off involving just about everyone with Lennon, Nilsson and party all being all forcibly chucked out of the club. The next day, Lennon sent out a raft of notes apologising for his behaviour. This very succinct one was sent to the actress Pam Grier:

“Dear Pam,

I apologize for being so rude and thank you for not hitting me.

John Lennon

P.S. Harry Nilsson feels the same way”.

You can read more of these fabulous Thank You's at; http://www.lettersofnote.com/

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