I hope you are enjoying my Valentine’s post this year. Today I want to tell you about some history of Valentine’s Day. Cool stuff! So apparently in addition to the United States, V-Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. That reminds me of my desire to travel the world. Anyways, in Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. Do you remember passing out Valentine’s Day cards or receiving them in grade school? I loved delivering cards, and seeing my decorated plastic bag full of them. Well these nuggets I’m sharing explain how all that began.
Fast forward to the 18th century, friends and lovers of all social classes exchanged small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. By the 1900s printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.
It’s guessed that Americans began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Sounds like a DIY to me. Ha!