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Advent Calendars

Advent Calendars
In 1902 a Christian Bookshop in Hamburg published a Christmas Clock which was very similar to that published 1922 by the St. Johannis printing company. (Dominik Wunderlin, lic.phil. Swizzerland). The Austrian (NÖ) Landesmuseum mentions the year 1903 as the year of the first printed Advent Calendar. In 1904 an Advent Calendar was inserted in the newspaper "Neues Tagblatt Stuttgart" as a gift for their readers.

In contrast to the above Esther Gajek says that the first printed specimen was made in 1908 by a Swabian parishioner son, Gerhard Lang (born 1881 in Maulbronn, Germany -died in 1974).

When he was a child his mother made him an Advent Calendar with 24 "Wibbele" (little candies) which were stuck on a cardboard. Later Lang was a participator of the printing office Reichhold & Lang. He produced little colored pictures which could be affixed on a cardboard at every day in December. This was the first printed Advent Calendar, although without windows to open, published in 1908. This Calendar was named "Christmas-Calendar" or "Munich Christmas-Calendar". At the beginning of the 20th Century Lang produced the first Advent Calendars with little doors to open. At this time as well the Sankt Johannis Printing Company started producing religious Advent Calendars, with Bible Verses instead of pictures behind the doors.

The Advent Calendar`s popularity started to spread round the globe. But Lang had to close his company in the thirties. Until that time he had produced about 30 different designs. World War II terminated the success of this German tradition. The cardboard was rationed and it was forbidden to produce Calendars with pictures. The first printed specimen after the war were printed by Richard Sellmer in 1946. This was the Advent Calendar "The Little Town".



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