Vintage Valentine Cards

I admit a love for paper and nostalgia.  Vintage Valentine cards fulfil both of those loves.  How appropriate!

Let’s take a look at vintage Valentine cards.  For starters, this isn’t a “Hallmark Holiday” or a holiday created to sell greeting cards.  Valentine’s have been exchanged heavily in the printed form since the early 1800’s when they began being made in factories in England.   Factory workers would hand color them or add ribbon and lace to the really fancy ones.  These are the kinds of valentines you still have a chance at finding at flea markets or in estates.

The founder of the vintage Valentine cards in the United States is attributed to Esther Howland in 1850.  She was an American printer and artist and was one of the first to print and sell the cards.  As you can imagine, cards from this period are hard to find and one made by Esther Howland is even more difficult.

In 1910, Hallmark Cards was established and quickly became a big player in the Valentine’s Day card circuit.  They had a deal with Disney that began in the 1930’s and Hallmark was the first company to display cards in such a way that you could see them all on the rack at once.

Other popular companies were Raphael Tuck & Sons, Gibson, Whitney, Norcross, A-meri-card, Marcus and Ward, Quality Art, Prang & Co., Carrington Co., MW Taggart, OBP, Louis Katz.

In the 1960’s the sports trading card companies got in on the game and Topp’s and O-Pee-Chee put out Valentines.  These are pretty collectible today.

There are hundreds of ways to collect these.  You can collect by era, company, style, subject, country of origin, great sayings, the possibilities are endless.

vintage valentine card by Grace Drayton. Creator of Campbell's soup kids.


Vintage valentine cards are collectible. Dogs are a great subject!
Unknown maker, USA Dogs
vintage valentine made in Germany. Late 1800's or early 1900's.
Vintage Valentine made in Germany

valentine for the website 3 needs crop valentine for website 4 needs crop vintage valentine for website 5 vintage valentine for website 7 need crop vintage valentine for website 8 needs crop Vintage valentine card at the Vintage Garage Chicago each month

Page References:

The History of Valentines

The History of Valentine’s Day Cards

Vintage Garage Chicago flea market, located Uptown.

The Chicago Vintage Clothing and Jewelry Show will take place March 2, 3pm to 8pm, March 3, 2018. 10am to 5pm at 5649 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60660. St. Andrews Greek Orthodox Church at the corner of Hollywood and N. Sheridan Road. The official website is

The 2018 Vintage Garage dates are April 15, May 20, June 17 , July 15, August 19, September 16, and October 21. There will be 100 vendors offering cool vintage and antique pieces every 3rd Sunday, April to October. Vintage Garage is located at 5051 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640. Hours are 10:00 am to 5:00 pm with a $5 admission. Official website is

Vintage Garage Chicago, 5051 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640, United States (US) - Phone: 312-505-6373 Secondary phone: 8475799079 Email: