10 unusual vintage Valentine’s Day cards

Posted on February 13th, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

The tradition of sending and receiving Valentine’s Day cards is well documented in The British Newspaper Archive, but not all were as sentimental as you might expect.

We’ve found a number of references in our historical newspapers to the unusual Valentines that were exchanged. Here’s a selection of the best for you to enjoy.

 

1) I saw you kiss the office boy

This little rhyme about an office romance was included in the Nottingham Evening Post in 1903:

Valentine from 1903

 

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Nottingham Evening Post – Thursday 12 February 1903
Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

2) With coals at the price they are

The Yorkshire Evening Post reported that one Victorian took the opportunity to complain about the cost of heating:

Valentine from 1938

 

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Yorkshire Evening Post – Monday 14 February 1938
Image © Johnston Press plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

3) Dirty, fat and greasy

The Dundee Courier printed this delightful caricature and rhyme about Butchers on Valentine’s Day in 1916:
Valentine from 1916

 

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Dundee Courier – Monday 14 February 1916
Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

4) My Heart’s at your feet

The Gloucester Citizen scoffed at a card featuring this terrible football pun in 1925:
Valentine from 1925

 

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Gloucester Citizen – Saturday 07 February 1925
Image © Local World Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

5) I’ll sweep the mat and feed the cat

The Dundee Courier included this Valentine’s rhyme, which they suggested ‘should please even practical Miss 1930’:
Valentine from 1930

 

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Dundee Courier – Thursday 13 February 1930
Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

6) One for the Minister of Transport

This Valentine’s Day card ‘for the Minister of Transport’ was included in the Aberdeen Journal in 1936:
Valentine from 1936

 

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Aberdeen Journal – Friday 14 February 1936
Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

7) If plough and cart can please your heart

This rhyme entitled ‘from a Farmer to his Valentine’ was printed in the Dundee Courier in 1907:
Valentine from 1907

 

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Dundee Courier – Thursday 14 February 1907
Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

8) I wanna grab you

The Derby Daily Telegraph reported that ‘the very newest American version’ of Valentine’s Day cards had been sent in 1929:
Valentine from 1929

 

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Derby Daily Telegraph – Wednesday 13 February 1929
Image © Local World Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

9) You are by nature a bird of prey

This delightful rhyme about a ‘husband hunter’ was included in the Dundee Courier in 1916:Valentine from 1916

 

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Dundee Courier – Monday 14 February 1916
Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

 

10) I wish to rhyme a little maid

The final Valentine we’ve found is a charming note from a father to his one-year-old daughter, published in the Evening Telegraph in 1912:
Valentine from 1912

 

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Evening Telegraph – Wednesday 14 February 1912
Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.