The custom of sending Christmas cards was started in the UK in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole. He was a senior civil servant who had helped set-up the new 'Public Record Office', now called the Post Office and wondered how it could be used more by ordinary people. Sir Henry had the idea of Christmas Cards with his friend John Horsley, who was an artist. They designed the first card and sold them for 1 shilling each. The card had three panels. The outer two panels showed people caring for the poor and in the centre panel was a family having a large Christmas dinner. About 1000 were printed and sold. As printing methods improved, Christmas cards became much more popular and were produced in large numbers from about 1860. In 1870 the cost of sending a post card and also Christmas cards, dropped to half a penny. This meant even more people were able to send cards. By the early 1900s, the custom had spread over Europe and had become especially popular in Germany.