More Greeting Cards, Valentines
There are greeting card collectors and there are Valentine collectors. Many who collect Valentine’s Day cards seek the really old, really fancy ones like the “Cupid's Message” one seen here.
Many of these earliest ones are embossed, have paper lace, and, like this one, fold up into 3D scenes. They’re great, to be sure, but the cards of the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s appeal to me best, I think, and that’s what most makes up most of the rest of my collection.
Following are the details of all the cards on this page, including publishers when shown on card:
Baby you’re the little number I'm looking for—Will you be my Valentine?, A-Meri-Card, c.1950; the aforementioned Cupid's Message, c.1930s; Valentine Greetings To My Teacher. Inside this one says: “Dear Teacher, To you I send this Valentine, With wishes true that are all for you. I like you very much I do, And I hope that you’ll always like me too,” c.1920s. I hope so too, little student, I hope so too.
I’d “Travel” To the Moon For You Valentine!, CAE, c.1950s. This is what space travel looked like to a kid in the 1960s.
Try my Valentine Sundae, “flavored with tulips and bliss—Served with two spoons and loving care—All for the price of a kiss, To My Valentine.” This one opens up to reveal he is taking “Love Tonic” alone with his dog looking on. Really. c.1940s.
Dear Valentine, Here's a great big heart for you, A.C. Co., 1941; To My Valentine says inside “Valentine Greetings, Words can’t express what I think of you,” c.1940s.
Blow Me Down, You're a "Knockout"—this one is a Popeye knockoff—pull his tab at top and he winks and leers, c.1940. Yes, I think "leers" is the right word.
You Auto Be My Valentine, c.1930s. I especially like the non-committal quality of this one. I remember sending cards like this to classmates in elementary school in the 1950s and ’60s. Mom would buy them of course; I didn’t get to pick them out. But they came in variety packs and I could at least choose which card went to which classmate. It was all very awkward. Nice non-committal statements like “You Auto Be My Valentine” were perfect for anyone.
And on a bit of a somber note: For my Sweetheart serving his country on Valentine's Day, GB, c.1944.
Valentine Greetings you handsome thing!, “Hope it won’t make you conceited—To learn you’ve got me Overheated!,” Gibson, c.1950.
I may be a Loaf-er but I'll go to work for you—this one unfolds to say ...“if you’ll be my Valentine,” c.1955. Go to work for you. Mmmmmm. I don’t think creepy is the right word, but there is definitely something “off” about this concept. Oh, and by the way, when some potential suitor says “I can change for you,” run, don’t walk, run in the other direction.
And lastly, another appearance of what was arguably the 20th century’s most popular technology, the automobile, in Yoo Hoo! Won’t you be my Valentine?, c.1930.
Valentine’s Cards are a rich sub-category in greeting card collecting. Occasionally they can be touching, but usually they’re just delightfully dopey. Amateur psychologists can have a field day mulling over what was said in some of these old cards, and that’s part of the fun of course, but it’s usually the artwork that makes them most appealing as collectibles.
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