THE STOCK SOLUTION
Vintage Valentines Collections
Valentine's Day has been celebrated for many centuries. Even though Valentine's Day falls on February 14, the feast day of certain Christian martyrs named Valentine (third century A.D.), its customs probably began with the Roman Feast of Lupercalia, which was celebrated on February 15. On the eve of Saint Valentine's Day, young people would gather, and each young man would draw by lot a young lady's name. The couples were then "valentines" for the year and would exchange tokens of love.
Early in the 1800's valentine cards, exchanged as messages of love, became popular. Soon a large business developed in cards and gifts, such as candy and flowers. Comic valentines originated in the United States and are popular today along with traditional and sentimental greetings.
Mant of the vintage Valentine images you have seen on this Web site were reproduced from "penny" postcards, which were popular from about 1890 to 1917. They were called penny postcards because they were mailed with a one-penny postage stamp. These Victorian style illustrations and photographs come from Royce Bair's (the director of TSS) personal antique collection of postcards, trade cards and greeting cards.
It was very "proper" at that time (1890 to 1917) to collect and display your collection of postcards and trade cards in the parlor. Friends and guests would often sit for hours, leafing through the album while they visited. The penny postcard became so popular during this era that photographers, studios, printers, and business were always trying to find new and exciting subjects to satisfy an audience that was hungry for new ideas to impress their friend at home. To make their cards stand out, people often sought out real photographic postcards. Instead of mass-produced lithographs, these were actual photographs made with a postcard printed back. The photography studios often employed women to hand tint and color the black & white photo postcards. Some of the best photo postcards came from Germany, which was also famous for its detailed and colorful lithography. Popular subjects for these photo postcards were women, children, flowers, and young lovers, posed and arranged in an effort to portray the idealized virtues of the Victorian Era.
We invite you to share these reflections of the past with your family and friends. A time when virtue and honor were fashionable and sought after. A simpler time when you didn't need a Zip Code to mail a post card --or even a house number for that matter! You are also invited to send our free Vintage Valentine Clipart e-Cards to your friends.
These two images are our gift to you for visiting our site. They may be used for any personal use such as greeting cards and computer screen savers. No commercial or business use. Any personal Web use requires a reference to The Stock Solution and link back to this page. No business Web use without an express license from TSS. These images may not be redistributed in a collection or sold to a third party.