The writing of special notes and letters for Valentine’s Day gained widespread popularity in the 1700s, with romantic messages handwritten on ordinary writing paper. By the 1820s special Valentine greetings papers were being marketed, often printed with coloured illustrations and embossed borders, these could be folded and sealed with wax, ready to be posted.
When postal rates became standardised with the introduction of the Penny Post, Valentine’s Cards could be posted for just one penny for carriage and delivery between any two places in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, irrespective of distance.
Subsequently, commercially produced Valentine’s cards began to grow in popularity, and just one year after the introduction of the Uniform Penny Post, 400,000 Valentines cards had been posted throughout England. By 1871, 1.2 million cards were processed by the General Post Office in London– and the mass-produced Valentine card was born.
Categories: Art & Culture