Prang, Louis, 1824-1909

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Louis Prang was born in Germany where took an active part in the Revolution of 1848. After emigrating to the U.S. Prang served as a mapper during the Civil War and transferred these skill to the business of printingg and lithography. Prang became an innovator in the printing and packaging of greeting cards, and also became interested in art education.

From the description of Papers, 1871-1971. (Temple University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 122477111

Louis Prang (1824-1909) was born in Breslau, Silesia, and moved to the United States in 1850. Although he was apprenticed under his father to learn the process of dyeing and printing of fabrics, he later moved on to lithography. L. Prang and Company of Boston, Lithographers (established c. 1860) specialized in small advertising, announcements, and business and greeting cards. Prang worked to perfect the process of chromolithography (colored lithographs), and was constantly devising novelties and was especially innovative in advertising methods. In 1882 he established the Prang Educational Company which published drawing books that came to be widely used in schools. His second wife, Mary Amelia Dana Hicks Prang (1836-1927) was an artist and teacher. Together they worked to establish the Prang Normal Art Classes.

From the description of Papers, 1856-1921. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 207165167

Louis Prang (1824-1909) was a lithographer, wood engraver, and educator from Breslau, Germany and Boston, Mass.

With Julius Meyer, he founded the lithographic business, Prang & Meyer in 1856 which later became L. Prang & Co.. Prang reproduced paintings by noted 19th century artists, and introduced the Christmas card in the 1870s. He is considered the founder of the greeting card business in the U.S.

From the description of Louis Prang papers, 1848-1932. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 767864511

Lithographer, wood engraver, and educator; Breslau, Germany and Boston, Mass.

Born in Germany and followed in his father's printing trade. After fleeing Germany for implications in revolutionary activities in 1848, he came to America and settled in Boston where he learned wood engraving and lithography. He started a lithographic business with Julius Mayer, Prang & Mayer, in 1856 and introduced the Christmas card in 1870s.

From the description of Louis Prang letter, 1878 January 25. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122355053

Lithographer, wood engraver, educator; Boston, Mass.

With Julius Mayer, founded lithographic business, Prang & Meyer in 1856, which reproduced paintings by noted 19th century painters. Introduced Christmas card in 1870s, and considered founder of greeting card industry in the U.S. Firm later became L. Prang & Co.

From the description of Louis Prang sales book samples, 1885 and [undated]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122577278

Prang was a lithographer, wood engraver, and educator; Breslau, Germany and Boston, Mass.

With Julius Meyer, he founded the lithographic business, Prang & Meyer in 1856 which later became L. Prang & Co. Prang reproduced paintings by noted 19th century artists, and introduced the Christmas card in the 1870s. He is considered the founder of the greeting card business in the U.S.

From the description of Louis Prang papers, 1852-1932. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122397025

Louis Prang (1824-1909) of Boston, Massachusetts, was a lithographer and wood engraver, famous for his chromolithographic reproductions of major works of art as well as for a series of publications used for art education in public schools. Because his company was first to make commercially printed greeting cards available to the public, Prang is often referred to as the "father of the American Christmas Card."

Louis Prang was born on March 12, 1824 in Breslau in what is now Poland. He was the only son among the seven children of a French Huguenot father Jonas Louis Prang and a German mother, Rosina Silverman. Louis Prang learned to dye and print calico as an apprentice in his father's shop. After traveling as a journeyman in Europe, he became involved in revolutionary activity against the Prussian government in 1848. Prang went to Switzerland, emigrated to the United States and settled in Boston in 1850, marrying Rosa Gerber in the following year.

Between 1848 and 1856, Prang supported himself by making wood engravings to illustrate various publications. In 1856, he joined with Julius Mayer and formed the partnership of Prang and Mayer, lithographic and copper plate manufacturers. The business continued until 1860 when Prang became sole owner, changing the name to L. Prang and Co. The firm printed business cards, announcements and other forms of ephemera and soon branched into the production of maps of Civil War sites and novelty items including albums and sets of picture cards decorated with a wide variety of images that became popular collectibles.

In 1864, Prang visited Europe to study the latest techniques in German lithography. He returned to Boston to create high quality reproductions of major works of art using a lithographic process he called "chromos." In 1874, he began producing greeting cards for the popular market in England and began selling the Christmas card in the United States the next year, resulting in his being called the "father of the American Christmas card." Also in 1874, Prang began publishing books for drawing and elementary art study for public schools. This latter activity proved so successful that he formed the Prang Educational Company in 1882. During this time, Prang shared his residence and his work with the family of his son-in-law, lithographer Karl K. Heinzen, who married Prang's daughter Rosa.

Through a merger in 1897, L. Prang and Co. became the Taber-Prang Company and moved from Boston to Springfield, Massachusetts. Two years following the death of his first wife in 1898, Prang married Mary Dana Hicks, an art teacher and author associated with the Prang Educational Company. Prang had retired from active business in 1899 and traveled extensively for the next decade. He became ill and died while en route to view an Exposition in Los Angeles in 1909.

Louis Prang died on June 14, 1909, in Los Angeles, California.

From the guide to the Louis Prang papers, 1848-1932, (Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Sittig, Mary Margaret. Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang, 1870-1970. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company correspondence and records, 1832-1944. Houghton Library
creatorOf Norcross Greeting Card Collection National Museum of American History (U.S.). Archives Center
referencedIn Abbey, Edwin Austin, 1852-1911. Edwin Austin Abbey letters, 1874-[ca. 1887]. Archives of American Art
creatorOf Homer, Winslow, 1836-1910. Winslow Homer collection, 1863, 1877-1945. Archives of American Art
creatorOf Prang, Louis, 1824-1909. Louis Prang letter, 1878 January 25. Archives of American Art
creatorOf Prang, Louis, 1824-1909. Papers, 1856-1921. American Antiquarian Society
referencedIn Garrison family. Garrison Family Papers, 1694-2005 Smith College, Neilson Library
referencedIn Heinzen, Henriette M. Correspondence, with Agnes Inglis, 1941-1949. University of Michigan
creatorOf L. Prang & Co. Victorian greeting cards-prints-ephemera, Chromolithographs, 1880-1910. Temple University Libraries, Paley Library
creatorOf Schuricht, Herrmann, 1831-1899. Correspondence of Herrmann Schuricht [manuscript] 1876-99. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Sittig, Mary Margaret. Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang, 1860-1978. Archives of American Art
creatorOf Prang, Louis, 1824-1909. Louis Prang papers, 1848-1932. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Papers, 1806-1973 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Homer, Winslow, 1836-1910. Winslow Homer collection, 1877-1945. Archives of American Art
creatorOf Louis Prang papers, 1848-1932 Archives of American Art
referencedIn Channing, Grace Ellery, 1862-1937. Papers, 1806-1973 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Johnson, Eastman, 1824-1906. Letters, 1868 Feb. 11-April 16, New York, to Louis Prang. Boston Athenaeum
referencedIn L. Prang & Co. Collection, 1864-1900. Winterthur Library
creatorOf Division of Domestic Life Greeting Card Collection National Museum of American History (U.S.). Archives Center
referencedIn Meyer, Conrad, 1793-1881. Papers, 1814-1881. Winterthur Library
creatorOf Prang, Louis, 1824-1909. Artist file. Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
creatorOf Prang, Louis, 1824-1909. Louis Prang papers, 1852-1932. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Batchelder family papers, 1806-1902 Houghton Library
referencedIn Chadwick, French Ensor, 1844-1919. Letter, 1897 January 30. Gadsden Public Library
referencedIn Letters to William James from various correspondents and photograph album, 1865-1929. Houghton Library
creatorOf Homer, Winslow, 1836-1910. Winslow Homer collection, 1863-1945. Archives of American Art
creatorOf Prang, Louis, 1824-1909. The Louis Prang and Company collection of 19th century American art [chromolithographs]. Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square
creatorOf Thaxter, Celia, 1835-1894. Letters, 1872-1894. University of Iowa Libraries
creatorOf Prang, Louis, 1824-1909. Louis Prang sales book samples, 1885 and [undated]. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Greeting card collection, 1850-1950 Hudson Library & Historical Society
referencedIn Winslow Homer collection, 1863, 1877-1945 Archives of American Art
creatorOf Prang, L.. Prang, L. : [photography bio file]. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
referencedIn Campbell, Robert B., 1909-1974. Robert B. Campbell papers, 1918-1973. Archives of American Art
creatorOf O'Byrne, M. C. (Michael Cyprian). Letters, 1884-85. University of Michigan
referencedIn Abbey, Edwin Austin, 1852-1911. Letter, 1874 November 26 : to L. Prang. Winterthur Library
referencedIn Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang, 1860-1978 Archives of American Art
creatorOf Prang, Louis, 1824-1909. Papers, 1871-1971. Temple University Libraries, Paley Library
referencedIn Sittig, Mary Margaret. Mary Margaret Sittig research material on Louis Prang, 1870-1970. Archives of American Art
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abbey, Edwin Austin, 1852-1911. person
associatedWith Batchelder family. family
associatedWith Campbell, Robert B., 1909-1974. person
associatedWith Chadwick, French Ensor, 1844-1919. person
associatedWith Channing, Grace Ellery, 1862-1937. person
associatedWith Christopher, E. Wrightson, 1894- person
associatedWith Fausel, Daniel. person
correspondedWith Garrison family. family
associatedWith GRACE ELLERY (CHANNING) STETSON, 1862-1937 person
associatedWith Heinzen, Henriette M. person
associatedWith Homer, Winslow, 1836-1910. person
correspondedWith Houghton Mifflin Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Hudson Library & Historical Society corporateBody
correspondedWith James, William, 1842-1910 person
associatedWith Johnson, Eastman, 1824-1906. person
associatedWith Kelly, Burnis M. person
associatedWith Kubilius, Walter. person
associatedWith Louis Prang and Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Louis Prang & Company Collection (Boston Public Library) corporateBody
associatedWith L. Prang & Co. corporateBody
associatedWith Meyer, Conrad, 1793-1881. person
associatedWith O'Byrne, M. C. (Michael Cyprian) person
associatedWith Paterson, David, F.C.S., 1900-1927. person
associatedWith Prang, Mary Amelia Dana Hicks, 1836-1927. person
associatedWith Prang & Meyer corporateBody
associatedWith Prang & Meyer. corporateBody
associatedWith Prang & Meyer. corporateBody
associatedWith Prang & Meyer. corporateBody
associatedWith Schuricht, Herrmann, 1831-1899. person
associatedWith Sittig, Mary Margaret person
associatedWith Sittig, Mary Margaret. person
associatedWith Thaxter, Celia, 1835-1894. person
associatedWith The Prang Educational Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Whittier, John Greenleaf, 1807-1892. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Massachusetts
Massachusetts--Boston
Boston (Mass.)
New York
Subject
Lithographers
Lithography
Lithography
Maps
Printmakers
Prints
Wood-engraving
Art
Chromolithography
Dyes and dyeing
Greeting cards
Greeting cards
Greeting cards industry
Occupation
Photographers
Activity

Person

Birth 1824-03-12

Death 1909-09-14

Americans

English,

German

Information

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