by Richard McKinstry

We identify St. Nicholas with Christmas, St. Patrick is recognized by all who are or who would like to be Irish, and we are forever grateful to St. Valentine for being the patron saint of lovers. To celebrate St. Valentine's day our colonial ancestors made their own valentine cards, complete with illustrations and original verses. Early valentines were done in watercolor or pen and ink; they often included cutouts; and rebuses, acrostics, and other kinds of puzzles were commonplace. Absent envelopes, these valentines were folded, sealed with wax, and often hand delivered. As printing developed and as America's postal system matured, valentines became an accepted way to convey one's love. During the late nineteenth century companies headed by McLoughlin Brothers, Louis Prang, Charles Magnus, and others owed much of their prominence and success to their production of valentine cards.

To learn more, read Valentines — The Language of Love" by Nancy Rosin >>

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