Valentine’s Day’s began to be widely celebrated during the seventeeth century. By the middle of the eighteenth century, it was common for friends and lovers to mark the day by exchanging small gifts and handwritten notes of affection. Improvements in printing technology meant that personally-written letters were being replaced by specially printed cards by the beginning of the nineteenth century, although it was not until the introduction of the Penny Post in 1840 and consequent reduction in the cost of postage that the popularity of sending printed greetings cards really took off in Great Britain and Ireland. Because ready-printed cards could be posted anonymously from a distance, people were able to express through them feelings that they would have found inappropriate to voice otherwise, paving the way for the saucy Valentines which appeared in the twentieth century.
The beautiful Valentine cards shown here all date from the mid-nineteenth century and are part of the Ulster Museu...full description
m’s extensive collection of greetings cards. Today, an extimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second-largest card sending holiday of the year after Christmas. Eighty-five per cent of all Valentine cards are purchased by women.