Early in the 1800's valentine cards,
exchanged as messages of love, became popular. Soon a large
business developed in cards and gifts, such as candy and flowers.
Comic valentines originated in the United States and are popular today
along with traditional and sentimental greetings.
It was very "proper"
during the Victorian era to collect and display your
collection of valentines (and postcards) in the parlor. Friends and guests would
often sit for hours, leafing through the album while they visited. The penny
postcard became so popular during this era that studios and printers were always
trying to find new and exciting subjects to satisfy an audience that wanted new
ideas to impress their friends at home. To make their cards stand out, people
often sought out real photographic postcards. Instead of
mass-produced lithographs, these were actual photographs made with a
printed postcard back. The photographers often hired women to hand tint the
black and white photos for postcards. Some of the best photo postcards came
from Germany, which was also famous for its very detailed and colorful lithography.
Popular subjects for these photo postcards were women, children, flowers, and
lovers, posed and arranged to portray the idealized virtues of the Victorian Era.
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January 07, 2006
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