When we think of Valentine’s Day we don’t automatically think of Great Britain in the nineteenth-century. However, it was in Great Britain in the nineteenth-century that the sending of Valentine cards became a fashion. This cottage industry of card making and sending for Valentine’s Day was soon viewed as a possible commercial enterprise.
Esther Howland was to many an ordinary woman living in Worcester, Massachusetts. However, Esther had a keen eye for business and so it was that in 1847 Esther established a very successful home based business making Valentine Cards. Many women today who aspire to being self- employed in their own business need look no further for inspiration than Esther Howland.
Esther used the British card models to design and fashion her Valentine Cards. Esther had identified a commercial niche in the market and filled it with her beautiful cards. What an inspiration Esther remains today, at a time when many women were expected to know their place, Esther struck a blow for women and their rights to equality and freedom.
America which is world famous today for its hello and goodbye greetings, "You have a nice day now", was no different in the 19th century. The Valentines card become very popular in 19th Century America and its commercialisation just went from strength to strength.
Indeed it is fair to say that the Valentine Card introduced in America by Esther was the fore runner to the array of general greeting cards found now in America for all and every occasion. The Valentine cards were the blue print for the commercialisation of all American holidays, where people now exchange cards and greetings as a way of saying thanks.
Each year across the world there are approximately one billion Valentines cards exchanged, who could ever have imagined that. With cards selling for anything from $1 to $50 + this is big business indeed. Indeed Valentine’s Day is only out done by Christmas in the card sales industry. When one adds to card sales the sales of romantic dinners, wine, fancy underwear, chocolates, teddy bears and so on and so forth this is certainly a mass market at an otherwise commercially quiet time of the year.
It is also worth noting that study after study shows that men spend twice as much on Valentine’s Day as women do. One wonders why this is. It is also worth noting that in 1797, fifty years before Esther Howland launched her card business, a British publisher had issued The Young Man’s Valentine Writer. This booklet contained dozens of verses and romantic lyrics for those young men who could not find their own words to describe their feelings for the woman they loved.
One wonders if the publication of such a book in 1797 suggests that men may be the ones that treat Valentines with the seriousness it deserves. It is also worth noting that during this period when postage was so expensive most cards were delivered by hand. Later of course with the advent of the penny stamp postage system, cards could be sent by post. This of course was less personal and lacked the face to face contact and hand touching of the previous century.
Esther was not the only one to tap into the commercialisation of Valentine cards, indeed numerous cards were being produced with drawings and verse. The printing presses could now mass produce cards and these were known as 'mechanical valentines'. So now we had mass production and cheaper postage. And human kind being what it is meant that cards could now be sent anonymously by post, It also meant that the prudish Victorian caution was gone and cards became more saucy.
It was now possible to send a card containing a saucy verse and drawing to the person you may simply have fancied. Today of course things have gone a step further. The introduction of the Internet has seen an explosion in the number of greetings and exchanges between people from different continents and cultures. Cyber space is the new meeting place for millions of people. Not only do people now meet and exchange greetings on the internet but they can meet their life partner on the net.
Saint Valentine would be happy that so many people honour his name with love and friendly greetings. The man himself was a Christian Martyr; he was a Priest in Rome who was murdered around the year 269 AD.
Saint Valentine is laid to rest in Dublin, Ireland. His relics are interred at the Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church. They were presented as a gift to the Carmalite Order from Pope Gregory xvi in 1835.
1) you know that a lot a ppl won't read such a long post
2) you know you were way better off hubbing it
by theirishobserver. 8 years ago
Let me know about your romantic ideas for Valentine's Day, have you any hubs on the subject, post a link here.When we think of Valentines Day we dont automatically think of Great Britain in the nineteenth-century. However, it was in Great Britain in the nineteenth-century that the sending of...
by theirishobserver. 8 years ago
I'm off to Paris again this year, just thought I would let you know, and I have reminded you below what Valentines Day is all about, make Love not War....When we think of Valentine’s Day we don’t automatically think of Great Britain in the nineteenth-century. However, it was in Great Britain in...
by theirishobserver. 8 years ago
Due to the strong dollar against the Euro there are great Valentines Day Special Hotel offers in Dublin dashhotels.com if your in Ireland check it out. Went to Paris last year but will stay in Ireland this year as there are some great deals.Here is all you need to know about St Valentine.Let me...
by Sharice 6 years ago
Is Valentine's Day all about Women?I heard someone say that Valentine's day is about women and that guys should get their lady a gift not the other way around. Yes your man should get you a gift but should you really not give him anything? And if you do get him a gift what do you give him? Clearly...
by Joy 5 years ago
Do you really believe on valentine's day? Why So?do you really believe on valentine's day? if yes why?, If no why?have you ever get advantage of this day in your whole life then share your story in answers.
by dashingscorpio 17 months ago
Do you believe men get the short end of the stick on Valentine's Day?Officially Valentine’s Day is not a "gender specific" holiday. Unlike Mother’s Day or Father’s Day where women and men are honored and given the royal treatment based upon their parental and gender status,...
Copyright © 2019 HubPages Inc. and respective owners. Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. HubPages® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc. HubPages and Hubbers (authors) may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.
|HubPages Device ID||This is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.|
|Login||This is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.|
|HubPages Traffic Pixel||This is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.|
|Remarketing Pixels||We may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.|
|Conversion Tracking Pixels||We may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.|