In 18th-century England, it grew into an occasion in which couples expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”). Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid.
Written valentines began to appear after 1400. Paper valentines originated in the 1500s, being exchanged in Europe and being given in place of valentine gifts and oral or musical valentine greetings. They were particularly popular in England. The first written valentine (formerly known as “poetical or amorous addresses”) is traditionally …
In the late 1860s, most Valentines were modestly priced, and targeted toward a mass audience. And many were designed for humorous effect, with caricatures of particular professions or ethnic groups. Indeed, many Valentines in the late 1800s were intended as jokes, and the sending of humorous cards was a fad for many years.
The first Valentine’s cards were sent in the 18th century. Initially these were handmade efforts, as pre-made cards were not yet available. Lovers would decorate paper with romantic symbols including flowers and love knots, often including puzzles and lines of poetry.
On this day in 1849, the first American-made valentines were sold in Worcester. They were designed and made by Esther Howland, the daughter of a local stationer. After graduating from Mt. Holyoke College, she returned to Worcester and began making valentines modeled on a fancy one she had received from an English …
Hallmark Valentines. In the 20th century (and beyond), the name Hallmark has become synonymous with Valentines for many Americans. Hallmark – or Hall Bros. as it was then called – sold its first Valentine’s Day cards in 1913.
Saint Valentine was a 3rd-century martyr. His feast day was the same as the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia, which resulted in the association between Valentine’s day and love. As an English name, it has been used occasionally since the 12th century.