Handmade Valentines before the Internet and Hallmark
We all know that Saint Valentine's Day, also known as Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is observed on February 14 each year. But what about the Valentine's Day Card itself? In the 19th century, how could you buy a card if you couldn't go to the card aisle in CVS? Or what if you waited until the last minute and you can't send an ecard?
Below are examples of the earliest Valentine's Day cards from the 19th century and early 20th century--long before Hallmark and Google.
[All of the images below are from the Creative Commons or in the Public Domain. Image and text from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentine's_Day.]
Antique and vintage Valentine cards, 1875–1904
Unusual seascape Valentine, date unknown.
Folk art Valentine and envelope dated 1875 addressed to
Clara Dunn of Newfield, New Jersey
Esther Howland Valentine, circa 1850
Valentine's Day Card, c1904
"Pop-ups" and mechanical Valentines, circa 1900–1930
A tiny 2-inch pop-up Valentine, circa 1920
Pull the bow and the eyes move side-side. c1920