View Full Version : History of Valentine's Day cards

05-06-2008, 10:21 PM
I know that Valentine's Day cards are nothing new. I've seen plenty of examples of Victorian Valentine's Day cards. However those that I've seen have been very sentimental and obviously romantic. My question is: when did people start exchanging Valentine's Day cards with non-sweethearts (friends, family members, children, etc.)? What sorts of sentiments did these early non-romantic cards carry?


05-06-2008, 10:42 PM
From an article I wrote a few years ago.....

In 1415, Charles, Duke of Orleans was imprisoned in the tower of London and sent his wife a profession of his love in a letter on February 14. His letter is considered the first Valentine card. As centuries passed, the notion of Valentine's Day spread and the stories expanded.

By 1868, the Cadbury Brothers chocolate makers in London began selling the first boxed chocolates and in 1870, the Cadbury brothers introduced the first heart shaped box of chocolates for Valentine's Day. Printer and artist Esther Howland created the first American valentines in the 1870's. Early Valentines were often lace and ribbon trimmed cards with flowery professions of love.