Commercial valentine’s day cards became popular in the 1830s and usually featured sentimental images.
However, a new style became popular beginning in 1840 and lasting until the mid-1900s, in which the recipient was often insulted by the character depicted on the valentine. They were designed to showcase the shortcomings of the recipients’ appearance, manners, or morals.
Nowadays these are called “Vinegar Valentines” but were often called “Comic Valentines” by the local SLC newspapers in the early 1900s.
Each year the SLC newspapers touted that finally this would be the year in which these insulting valentines would no longer be popular but each year they proved as popular as ever.
They were often sent to the recipient anonymously regardless of gender or class.
Images are a selection of Vinegar Valentines printed between 1900-1950, all images from ebay.
|1908: The Old Maid|
|1906: The Loafer|
|1909: The Chewing Gum Girl|
|1910s: The Bachelor|
|1910: The Quack|
|1950s: The Glamour Gal|