History of Valentine’s Day In The Early Twentieth Century (1915)


The custom of sending valentines has developed from a lace-edged card, inscribed with a tender sentiment, to the elaborate floral designs made up by florists, the expensive candy boxes with valentine designs and sentiments, and the giving of other dainty favors with beautiful works of art in hand paining and lithograph.

In accordance with an old poetical idea, small wreaths of flowers – valentine flowers – are upt up in dainty baskets of sweet grass, broad Swedish woven baskets, little wicker baskets and satin boxes decorated with ribbons and a spray of satin flowers in the corner, or perhaps an orchid.

Violets are favorites because, in the language of flowers, the violet signifies faithfulness. Next in point of popularity is the red rose, signifying love, and the forget-me-not, whose name speaks of remembrance. The orchid which signifies refinement, is not so popular as other flowers for St. Valentine’s Day, but a great many orchids are being ordered to accompany handsome satin and cardboard valentines.

Some of the florists have prepared fancy baskets and boxes decorated with ribbons and flowers and interwoven with ribbons. Tese sometimes have little Cupids, in bisque, among the decorations.

Candy is a favorite gift for St Valentine’s day. The young man whose fate is undetermined is more apt to send flowers which breathe his sentiments- for it is all the fashion now to send flowers with their sentiments- but the young man whose future is settled by a solitaire diamond ring will sned his finacee one of the boxes of candy especially got up for the day.

These boxes come in many sizes, from a foot and a half across to a tiny red heart with a Cupid perched upon the top beside a spray of orange blossoms or lilites-of-the-valley.

Valentine candy boxes are all in heart shape, in satin or brocaded silk, and are hand-painted on the top with spring blossoms, or are embroidered in small breaths and sprays, in fine ribbon embroidery, with fancy embroidered ribbon borders. These boxes are made inside into the handsomest of work boxes, glove boxes, jewel case the like, while satin and lace and handpainted mouchoir cases have a box of candy of any size tucked between the folds.

All these tokens are accompanied by suitable verses and sentiments upon dainty lithographed valentines.

Source: The Day, February 1915

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