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History of the Valentine's Day Card

Updated on October 22, 2013

Re-Gifting Old Valentines is Green and Chic!

Behind Christmas, Hallmark lists Valentine's Day as the second largest card-giving holiday.

What better way to celebrate than to look at the history of the valentine card and to re-gift an old valentine card. Yes, with our Green economy, it is now okay to re-gift, especially old Valentine's Day cards!

Since it's meager beginnings in the Middle Ages, the valentine has sparked love and visions of Cupid all over the World.

Please sit back and relax and enjoy this website as you peruse some beautiful cards that have been used throughout the last two centuries.

You may find an old one buy & give to your love and there may be a bit of fun for you in here also!

Enjoy!

Creative Commons Photo Credit

Origin of Valentine's Day Cards

Valentines date back to the Middle Ages and lovers either recited them or sang them. One of the oldest physical valentines is in the British Museum. In the beginning, the paper valentine was first used in Europe where they were exchanged in lieu of valentine gifts.

Since the early 19th Century, valentines were made in factories and by the beginning of the 20th Century, valenties were mostly made in factories by printing presses or machines. Fancy valenties originated in the mid 1800's and many were made with lace and ribbons to go along with the Victorian era and the ornate way of doing things.

Esther Howland has been attributed with the first published and printed valentines in the United States and one of those is pictured below.

Valentines have skyrocketed in sales ever since!

1850 - This is One of the First Valentines in the USA - Attributed to Esther Howland

1850 Esther Howland
1850 Esther Howland

1887 Valentine - Attributed to Charles Whitney of Worcester, Massachusetts

1887 Valentine Attributed to Charles Whitney of Worcester, Massachusetts
1887 Valentine Attributed to Charles Whitney of Worcester, Massachusetts

"Some love lasts a lifetime. True love lasts forever."

Unknown

Late 1800's Die Cut Valentine of a Heart

Late 1800's Die Cut Valentine of a Heart
Late 1800's Die Cut Valentine of a Heart

1899 Valentine with Angels, Birds and Flowers

1899 Valentine with Angels, Birds and Flowers
1899 Valentine with Angels, Birds and Flowers

Early 1900's Valentine with a Depicition of a Simpering Miss

1900 Simpering Miss Valentine
1900 Simpering Miss Valentine

Early 1900's Fantastic 3D Foldout Valentine

1900 3D Foldout Valentine
1900 3D Foldout Valentine

Let Frank Sinatra Serenade You While You Browse - My Funny Valentine

Early 1900's Card of a Woman with Cherubs - A rare depicition from this time period with a baby of African-American descent

1900's Prangs Card Lady with Cherubs
1900's Prangs Card Lady with Cherubs

Early 1900's Dog Valentine Card

Early 1900's Dog Valentine Card
Early 1900's Dog Valentine Card

"The Eskimos have 52 words for snow because it is so special to them; there ought to be as many for love!"

Margaret Atwood

1909 Valentine with Cherubs and a Heart

1909 Valentine with Cherubs and a Heart
1909 Valentine with Cherubs and a Heart

Paul McCartney Croons "My Valentine"

1910 Valentine of Woman Holding Heart and Flowers

1910 Valentine Heart Flowers
1910 Valentine Heart Flowers

1910's Kewpie Doll Valentine

1910's Kewpie Doll Valentine
1910's Kewpie Doll Valentine

1910's Valentine - My Dearest Miss

1910 Valentine My Dearest Miss
1910 Valentine My Dearest Miss

"My Valentine" by Martina McBride and Jim Brickman - Let's all go to the Lobby!

1920 Valentine - Attributed to Charles Twelvetrees

1920 Charles Twelvetrees Valentine
1920 Charles Twelvetrees Valentine

1920 Mechanical Valentine of a Girl in a Vase

1920 Mechanical Valentine Woman in Vase
1920 Mechanical Valentine Woman in Vase

"If love is great, and there are no greater things, then what I feel for you must be the greatest."

Unknown

1920's Mechanical Valentine of a Girl in Short Shorts

1920's Mechanical Valentine
1920's Mechanical Valentine

1920's Mechanical Valentine of a Girl With a Gun

1920 Mechanical Valentine Woman with gun
1920 Mechanical Valentine Woman with gun

"Valentine" by Jessie Ware & Sampha

1920's Mechanical Valentine of a Boy on a Rocking Horse

1920's Mechanical Valentine Boy on Horse
1920's Mechanical Valentine Boy on Horse

1920's Mechanical Puppy Valentine

1920's Mechanical Puppy Valentine
1920's Mechanical Puppy Valentine

If You Don't Want to Re-Gift an Old Greeting Card, Here Are Some Cool Recylcing Ideas - Recycle old greeting cards for household items

Creative Crafting With Recycled Greeting Cards
Creative Crafting With Recycled Greeting Cards

This is a great way to recycle old cards. You may not be green or may just think it is tacking to re-gift an old card. This is a way to use them for appliques and other decorative ideas for household products. They would then make great gifts!

Cool GREEN idea!

 

1920's Valentine Greetings Card

1920's Valentines Greetings Card
1920's Valentines Greetings Card

1920's Valentine of a Girl on a Swing

1920's Valentine of a Girl on a Swing
1920's Valentine of a Girl on a Swing

"To love another person is to see the face of God."

Les Miserables

1920's Valentine of a Girl in a Fancy Dress

1920's Valentine of a Girl in a Fancy Dress
1920's Valentine of a Girl in a Fancy Dress

1920's Valentine Card of Two Cupids Playing with Your Heart!

1920's Valentine Card of Two Cupids Playing with Your Heart!
1920's Valentine Card of Two Cupids Playing with Your Heart!

"Valentine" by Maurice Chevalier - 1925

1930's Policeman Valentine

1930's Policeman Valentine
1930's Policeman Valentine

1930's Shirley Temple Inspired Mechanical Valentine

1930's Shirley Temple Inspired Valentine
1930's Shirley Temple Inspired Valentine

"Valentine" by Nils Lofgren - Wonderful Guitar Solo in Cologne, Germany

1930's Mechanical Valentine of a Boy in a Boat

1930's Valentine Boy in Boat
1930's Valentine Boy in Boat

1930's Mechanical Apple Valentine

1930's Mechanical Apple Valentine
1930's Mechanical Apple Valentine

1940's Hot Dog Valentine

1940's Hot Dog Valentine
1940's Hot Dog Valentine

St. Valentines Day Massacre - Not everything about Valentine's Day has been pleasant

1960's Valentine of a Boy on the Moon - This is the type of Valentine that I remember

1960 Valentine Boy on Moon
1960 Valentine Boy on Moon

Thank Heaven for the Guestbook - Even Charlie Brown can get a Valentine here!

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    • tvyps profile image
      Author

      Teri Villars 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      @Gypzeerose: I like cards very much also. Thank you for the blessing and the visit!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      Such a beautiful lens. Pinned to my Valentine's day board and blessed. I love cards.

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 4 years ago

      »-(¯`v´¯)-» . . »-(¯`v´¯)-» . . »-(¯`v´¯)-»

      Happy Valentine Day!

      All the very best to you and your loved ones, from me and mine!

      Helene Malmsio aka. SCSS

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      These are so cool to see, I love the vintage Valentines.

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      Vintage valentines are so charming. Thanks for the history lesson and all the wonderful photos.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Very interesting collection of Valentine Cards. Nice lens