10 vintage Valentines | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


10 unusual vintage Valentine’s Day cards

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
Nottingham Evening Post | 12 February 1903
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
Yorkshire Evening Post | 14 February 1938
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
Dundee Courier | 14 February 1916


4) My Heart’s at your feet

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

Valentine from 1925
Gloucester Citizen | 7 February 1925

5) I’ll sweep the mat and feed the catThe Dundee Courier included this Valentine’s rhyme, which they suggested ‘should please even practical Miss 1930’:

Valentine from 1930
Dundee Courier | 13 February 1930


6) One for the Minister of Transport

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

Valentine from 1936
Aberdeen Press and Journal | 14 February 1936
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
Dundee Courier | 14 February 1907


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
Derby Daily Telegraph | 13 February 1929
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
Dundee Courier | 14 February 1916
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 Dundee Evening Telegraph in 1912:

Valentine from 1912
Dundee Evening Telegraph | 14 February 1912


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