Happy Valentin's Day


The sending of Valentines was a fashion in nineteenth-century Great Britain, and, in 1847, Esther Howland developed a successful business in her Worcester, Massachusetts home with hand-made Valentine cards based on British models. The popularity of Valentine cards in 19th century America, where many Valentine cards are now general greeting cards rather than declarations of love, was a harbinger of the future commercialization of holidays in the United States. It's considered one of the Hallmark holidays.



Modern times
In 1797, a British publisher issued The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, which contained scores of suggested sentimental verses for the young lover unable to compose his own. Printers had already begun producing a limited number of cards with verses and sketches, called “mechanical valentines,” and a reduction in postal rates in the next century ushered in the less personal but easier practice of mailing valentines. That, in turn, made it possible for the first time to exchange cards anonymously, which is taken as the reason for the sudden appearance of racy verse in an era otherwise prudishly Victorian.
Paper Valentines being so popular in England in the early 1800s, Valentines began to be assembled in factories. Fancy Valentines were made with real lace and ribbons, with paper lace introduced in the mid 1800's. In the UK, just under half the population spend money on their Valentines and over two billion pounds is spent yearly on cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts, with an estimated 25 million cards being sent.The reinvention of Saint Valentine's Day in the 1840s has been traced by Leigh Eric Schmidt.As a writer in Graham's American Monthly observed in 1849, "Saint Valentine's Day... is becoming, nay it has become, a national holyday-In the United States, the first mass-produced valentines of embossed paper lace were produced and sold shortly after 1847 by Esther Howland (1828-1904) of Worcester, Massachusetts.








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