Well, now I've got a question for you. What are YOU doing up at three in the morning? I thought people in the 19th century normally go to bed at a respectable hour, considering it's supposed to be a respectable century.
Image via Victoria & Albert Museum
You were in the new maid's room and you two were talking about Valentine's Day? She told you she had a fiance in England who gave her the most romantic card on Valentine's Day? But he dumped her right after her injury? He couldn't stand to look at her hand?
Wow, how sad. That doesn't sound like love to me. Who cares is someone you love loses a finger or two?
Right. He did. And then she couldn't stand to look at him? She boarded a ship and came to Canada?
What's her name? Charlotte.
With industrialization taking place in England early in the 19th century, advances in printing gained momentum. It became simple to mass produce Valentine's Day cards. Around 1820, approximately two hundred thousand Valentines were purchased in London.
In the mid-1800s, when you currently exist, there is a distinct increase happening in Canada and the United States regarding the giving of cards. Valentine's Day is being promoted by the manufacturers to increase sales.
Even male friends are sending cards to one another, but these are not romantic - they're humorous - and feature put-downs (about baldness, for example), teasing and sarcasm.
In England, the first printed Valentine came out in 1797. At first, envelopes weren't used; the card was simply folded with the recipient's name and address written on the outside. But in the 1840s, cheaper mailing rates came into effect which allowed for mailing heavier letters at a decent price. This is when envelopes were introduced.
Mind if I make a suggestion?
No need to get all huffy.
And now you know.