Views of vintage Valentines

The brightly colored cards of Valentine’s Day have changed through the years.

Stop by an antique shop and you can still find memories from a vintage Valentine’s Day. Though the cards may look different, the sentiments expressed are still the same on pieces from 100 years ago.

“The old ones have higher quality than what you find today, said Deanne Charon, owner of the Downtown Antiques Mall.

“They can’t seem to get the detail anymore,” Charon said. “For some of these, they used to use a process called lithography.”

The best old cards were printed in Germany, she said.

“The ones made in Germany were just a higher quality,” she said. “Anything that’s antique that’s made in Germany is more sought-after.”

The Valentine card craze peaked between 1890 and 1915, according to an article Charon referred to in the Southeastern Antiquing and Collecting magazine.

The cards were used the same way back then as they are now. Numerous cards have notes from students to teachers on the back, or from teachers to students.

“I like the teacher ones because they put the dates on them,” Charon said.

All the valentines featured here came from around 1900 to 1930, she said. Without a date written on the back, it’s often impossible to pinpoint exactly when.

What was different back then? Valentine’s postcards, she said. In the days before email, text and instantaneous communication, sending paper notes was much more popular.

“They’d send Easter postcards too,” she said. “They’d send them for every holiday. People don’t do that now.”