Valentine Boom


Keeping with a Valentine prelude theme, I started to wonder if our heroes of the old west shower their gals with cards and flowers on February 14th?  Elizabeth’s posted The Love Behind The Legend, came to mind, and I wondered if Frank had presented Anne with valentines.  Odds are, he did.


I was surprised to discover Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages (written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400), and the oldest known Valentine card is on display at the British Museum. The first commercial Valentine’s Day greeting cards produced in the U.S. were created in the 1840s by Esther A. Howland. Howland, known as the Mother of the Valentine, made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap”.


Here’s a sample of Valentine’s cards starting with an Esther A. Howland card in 1850:




Beautiful embroidery in 1862:



A gorgeous cut-out from 1887:



Victorian elegance of 1900:



Here is a pop-up Valentine from 1920:




1940 is around the year kid cards became a big thing:


According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion valetine cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, next to Christmas.  Approximately 85 percent of all valentines are purchased by women.


This month my hubby and I are celebrating twenty years of marriage. Cheryl’s post from yesterday made me smile when I think of the early trial and tribulation we went through before he figured out I was a cheap valentine. Our first year as a married couple an elaborate flower arrangement arrived at my place of work, filled with carnations, spinder mums and red pipe-cleaner hearts….  The girls in the office thought it was gorgeous, while I fumed. I have a loathing of carnations. I’m a rose kind of gal–I don’t need a bundle, just one will do, and my man knew this. The only explination was that he didn’t order the flowers. A big Valentine no-no — a lesson learned as he cleaned up scattered petals and pipe cleaners from our livingroom that night 😉  


Yesterday he showed up at lunch time with what he called an early valentine, and presented me with a dusty rock, the size of my palm and shaped like a perfect heart–he found it in the drive, and I shall treasure it 🙂


Anyone else have any Valentine blunders?




 The Gunslinger’s Untamed Bride

+ posts

21 thoughts on “Valentine Boom”

  1. Knowing Frank Butler I’m sure he showered his Annie with valentines, Stacey. He was such a romantic soul.
    Your flower story recalls a darling man in my past. He ordered red roses sent to me at work. They arrived at the end of the delivery day and were pretty well wilted (the florist’s fault). Since I was seeing him that night I ran out and bought a dozen fresh roses at the grocers and replaced the drooping ones in the bouquet of ferns and baby’s breath. Evening saved, and he was never the wiser.

  2. I thought I’d leave this BEFORE reading the whole blog, in case I forget.

    I start in reading, minding my own business, Stacey, and what to I see???

    Keeping with a Valentine prelude theme, I started to wonder if our heroes of the old west shower
    Okay, in MY BOOKS they do.

  3. It’s nice, isn’t it, to be with someone long enough that a lot of the early stuff calms down. Just like Ivan getting me silk thermal underwear, you know…that gift says he knows me. He gave the gift some thought.

    I think the bottom line is THOUGHT.
    We know how busy our men are. That’s why a phone call means so much or some little token gift, it really isn’t about the money. It means that, in a busy, busy day, I came into his head enough that he stopped what he was doing, turned aside from his usually high pressure, rushed, full day and THOUGHT of me.
    That isn’t about forcing romance on the guy, it’s about me being enough in his life to be in his head. The rock is wonderful. Although seriously, Stacey, once my heart palpitations calmed down … and he wasn’t paying attention anymore… I might return it to the drive-way. I mean who’s got space for all those rocks. 😀

    But I’d think of him while I was doing it.

  4. Loved the heart-shaped rock! That’s a keeper.
    I’d rather have roses too. Roses speak of love and romance.I’m also a lily lover. Stargazers are my favorite. And they last for weeks.

  5. I loved the early valentines. My husband is a hit or miss kind of guy. I never know which I guess keeps me guessing although I must admit to some disappointment on the forgetful years (out of 40). Congratulations on 20 – you’re halfway there lol. I’ve always enjoyed the thoughtful gifts over showy ones.

  6. I love vintage Valentines! Okay, I love nearly anything vintage. One of those would be enough of a gift for me.

    I once got a George Foreman grill! And he knows the no cord rule, so I’m still scratching my head over that one.

  7. Those are beautiful cards, Stacey! I didn’t realize Valentine’s day has been around for so long. Thanks for sharing that stuff. I love the rock story, too. 🙂

  8. Hi Elizabeth! I loved your poaston Anne and Frank 🙂

    So sweet you how replaced teh roses!
    Ya know, I don’t where jewelry, so this heart stone is my kind of rock 😉


  9. ROFL, Mary!!! No way–I’m keeping my rock–I wish I knew where my camera was so I could take a picture–it’s a nearly a perfect heart. He’s not one to bring me stones from the yard, though when we first married he did used to bring home cross rocks he’d find in the gullies–we have a small jar of them somewhere. They are flat on both sides and have a dark cross in the centers–very pretty 🙂

  10. Hi Charlene! Since I don’t wear jewelry, it’s the perfect rock for me 😉 You are right, roses are the flower of romance…but lilies and stargazers are gorgeous 🙂

  11. Hi, Stacy,

    As I mentioned in Cheryl’s blog off yesterday, I
    had a Valentine’s Day baby in 1961. When my Honey came in to see me later in the day, he brought along one of my brothers. Ken had flowers and brother had a Valentine card. I was kind of “out of it” so I just glanced at the card. Years later, I came across the card and died laughing! My goofy brother had given me a card more appropriate for a girl in whom he had
    an interest! Knowing him, he liked the front of the card, signed his name without reading the
    text, and handed it over! And I’ve never told
    him, just kept the card with all my treasures!

    Pat Cochran

  12. Thank you, Jeanne! Cheers on 40 years!! We are just about to move home after remodeling our house (finally passed inpsection today!!) and I keep hearing if a marriage can survive a remodel, it can survive anything–I think we’ve made it, but it’s been a near thing *lol*

    Thans for sharing 🙂

  13. Hi Stacey, the vintage Valentines are absolutely gorgeous. And I too would treasure a heart-shaped rock…I have a jar of sea glass hubby has got me from walks on the beach, and I think of them as pirate jewels washed ashore.

    He’s pretty good about getting me flowers throughout the year, not fancy florist arrangements but bunches e.g. from the farmers market. The latest and among my favorite, white lisianthus, are still going on after 2 weeks. They last forever.

    Thanks for this pretty as well as informative post.

  14. Thank you, Kate! I didn’t realize they’d been around so long either. And you know, I don’t think I’ve read a Valentine’s themed western…hmmm? *g* That’s what I love about blogging–discovering things I’d likely never look up otherwise 😉

  15. Pat, that is too cute about your brother!! And how funny that you’d read it years later 🙂
    Since we’re been shuffling our junk between houses I’ve come across a ton of forgotten happy memories–I need a house made of hutches! *g*

    Thank you for sharing!!

  16. Thank you, Tanya! Ooooh, sea glass~your jar must be gorgeous 🙂

    It’s the spontaneous sweetness that really tugs at the heart, isn’t it? Thank you for sharing!!

Comments are closed.