The smiley isn’t from the US but from baroque Moravia :)

The smiley isn’t from the US but from baroque Moravia :)

Is it time to rewrite the textbooks?

HomeWhat's NewThe smiley isn’t from the US but from baroque Moravia :)
Those who don’t use emoticons or smilies today in communication seem as if they don’t live. Their authorship has been deemed for a long time to belong to the renowned US designer Harvey Ball, who used them in an advertising campaign for a US insurance company in 1963. Historians from Brno have made a surprising discovery though. The smiley is much older and originates from the territory of what is today the Czech Republic!
In fact, an almost identical symbol as we use nowadays figured in the economic correspondence of Bernard Hennet, Abbott of the monastery in Žďár nad Sázavou, as early as the mid-18th century.

The abbot used a “smiley” in his correspondence at the end of deeds probably absolutely habitually at least in 1741. Scientists examining old deeds have discovered the symbol in a document relating to correspondence about the setting up of a pottery workshop in the house of the abbot of Žďár in today’s Zelný trh (Vegetable Market) in Brno.
 
Unfortunately, we don’t exactly know whether the smiley was really a smiley, or if it had a different meaning. It may mean either that the abbot marked in this way a place where a seal was to be attached, or it means that someone had approved the document. The meaning of the symbol should be clarified by further investigation.
 
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