Last year, our good friend Linda gave us a beautiful present – a collection of old Victorian Greeting cards. According to the inscriptions on them, they were the collection of a woman named “Margaret.” We thought today would be a great day to share the Valentines Cards Margaret received with you, and also share a little research we conducted on them with the help of our good friends from Hallmark. (See photos and story from a previous visit to the Hallmark headquarters and archives here.) Hallmark is one of our favorite American companies…any time we have a history question, they research and get back to us the same day. We heart them (Valentine’s pun intended.)

Click through the slide show below to learn more about the Victorian Era greeting cards in our collection. Many many thanks Linda for sharing such a beautiful gift with us, and also to Sharman Roberts, Image Collection Manager, Hallmark Archives, for answering our questions about Margaret’s cards. Please echo our thanks to them in the comments section below.


by Josh and Brent

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I used to have a much higher opinion of Hallmark. Sadly, these days, they seem to aim for the conservative crowd and little old ladies a bit much. First, they introduced a holiday ornament that changed the word in “Deck the Halls” from “gay” to “fun.” They appeared to have gotten the message about that and apologized–without taking the ornament off the shelves. But now, you can’t go into a Hallmark without being subject to a disgusting display of “Duck Dynasty” cards, etc. Beyond that, their cards are kinda blah when you compare them to cards from stores like Papyrus. I really hope Hallmark comes to their sense and returns to being the great store they have the potential to be.


I found a box of cards in my local antique shop from the 1940’s and 50’s that were sent between the same couple, Sol and Allie. There were Valentines, birthdays, Easter, Christmas… even cards for St. Patrick’s Day. Some included letters to Sol as he was stationed overseas during WWII. They began as cards “to my sweetheart” and progressed “to my husband”, “to my wife”. Later, there were cards celebrating the arrival of their baby son. I gave them to my husband throughout the year on the respective holidays… now we look forward to displaying them each year. It has been an inspiration to me as a newly married person to reflect on a long and tender marriage from another generation.


I am sooooo jealous! What a beautiful collection. They don’t mak’em like that anymore! They are beautiful. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Jamie Caya

I have some cards that are similar. I found them when hubby’s Aunt was moving to a smaller house. She said “Take them or they’ll get thrown in the trash”. I put them in an old picture frame that also came from her house. She doesn’t remember where they came from, just that they’ve been in the family for along time. I’m so happy she let me have them. Now I know a little bit more about them. Thank you!


Beautiful collection. I am left wondering who was Margaret? She kept those cards, remembering the givers?


Thank you for the beautiful cards. If you haven’t read “The Language of Flowers” by Valerie Diffenbaugh, it is wonderful. Lots of reference to which flowers mean what. Love this post.

marcia wald

this was such a lovely exhibit – thank you two for it and have a happy valentines day together


What a beautiful gift that Linda gave you…a gift not only enjoyed by you but also all of your facebook friends. Thanks to Linda and Hallmark for the historical background and to the two of you for sharing them with us.

PS. I love, love, love your piano!