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c. early 1900s

Vintage Halloween cards

In the early 1900s, people spent a frightening fortune on Halloween cards.

No doubt you’ve just finished the last-minute writing and mailing of your yearly Halloween cards to friends, neighbors and colleagues alike. No? Such a state of affairs would have been unheard of a hundred years ago.

Yes, our early 20th century forebears spent a frightening fortune on Halloween cards. The American Halloween card dates back to the 1890s — and during the early 1900s, the card had become almost as popular as birthday and Christmas cards are today. By 1915, Halloween cards had become a craze — 3,000 different Halloween designs were being exchanged on cards.

It’s a custom that is now all but forgotten.  Perhaps in these more enlightened times, we shy away from using natural resources on such a throwaway item.

Or perhaps not. Allow me to break it to you: In 2018, Americans — 30 million of them — spent a hair-raising $480 million on Halloween costumes. For their pets.

By far the most popular costume choice was, of course, a pumpkin.  Said pumpkin was followed by, slightly randomly, a hot dog. And in third place, and right-off-the-random-scale, a bee.

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Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images
Buyenlarge/Getty Image
Hulton Archive/Getty Image
Hulton Archive/Getty Image

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