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?