Louis Prang was born in 1824 in a Province of the
. His father was a textile manufacturer, and Louis grew up comfortably in that trade, working with his father for many years. After a while, his youthful political activities irritated the Prussian government (he was a bit too revolutionary for his time) and he was forced to emigrate, first to Kingdom of Prussia Switzerland, then to in 1850. Boston
He became a fairly successful lithographer, carving wood engravings for book illustrations. He eventually started his own business, L. Prang and Company, working in advertising and other business art. The company also printed maps, some of which were used (by both sides!) during the Civil War.
In 1873, he started printing Christmas cards – he is often referred to as the Father of the American Christmas card – and also manufactured a series of what were called “album cards,” which were used in scrapbooks. (Scrapbooking is nothing new, although the use of the gerund form certainly is trendy: I have several of my great-grandmother’s diaries in which she often mentions an evening spent “pasting scraps.”) I’ve stumbled across quite a bit of Prang’s work in scrapbooks I’ve found in flea markets and antique shops. I’ve got a few of his Christmas cards, too, and I’ll post some in December!
Louis Prang relocated his
Massachusetts company from Roxbury to in 1897. He died in 1909 and is buried in Springfield in Jamaica Plain. Forest Hills Cemetery
This card depicting the Muses was one of Louis Prang’s scrap album cards. The Muses were the goddesses who ruled over the arts and sciences. They are known collectively as the younger muses, and they influenced poetry, music, tragedy, comedy, dancing, astronomy, astrology, etc.
There were usually nine muses, but this card has ten.
So, which one is the interloper?
Make your guess in your comment, and feel free to be wickedly creative!