Thursday, February 12, 2015

Cards from the Heart

 The Folklore of Valentine's Day Cards

In the Middle Ages people said or sang their Valentines. It wasn't until the 15th century that sentiments on paper began to appear. In fact the British Museum is home one of the earliest Valentine cards.
Over time the cards gained in popularity and were often given instead of gifts. By the 19th century they were designed and mass produced in English factories.  Most of them were black and white with simple drawings. The fancier ones included lace and ribbon.
American printer and artist Esther Howland brought the idea to America.  Amazingly, her home-based industry grossed about $100, 000 annually. In 1881 she sold her business to George C. Whitney Comapny.

It is interesting to note that outside of Christmas, Valentine's Day cards are the most widely exchanged card there are.  

Here are some fun facts:
  • According to Hallmark research, more than 50% of all Valentine’s Day cards are purchased in the six days prior to the observance.
  • In order of popularity, Valentine's Day cards are given to teachers, children, mothers, wives, sweethearts and pets.
  • Women purchase 85% of all Valentine's Day cards.
Related Articles: Esther Howland
History of Valentine's Day Cards Video
Saint Valentine
Valentine's Day Card images

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