This is the "Home" page of the "Valentine's Day Cards History" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Valentine's Day Cards History  

Last Updated: Jul 13, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
Home Print Page

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'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 











        Subject Guide

        Profile Image
        Library Staff

        Loading  Loading...