Esther Howland Valentine, circa 1850: “Weddings now are all the go, Will you marry me or no”

Handwritten poem, “To Susanna” dated Valentine’s Day, 1850 (Cork, Ireland)

Comic Valentine, mid-19th century: “R stands for rod, which can give a smart crack, And ought to be used For a day on your back.”

Valentine card, 1862: “My dearest Miss, I send thee a kiss” addressed to Miss Jenny Lane of Crostwight Hall, Smallburgh, Norfolk.

Folk art Valentine and envelope dated 1875 addressed to Clara Dunn of Newfield, New Jersey

Whitney Valentine, 1887; Howland sold her New England Valentine Company to the George C. Whitney Company in 1881

Seascape Valentine, date unknown

Vinegar Valentine, circa 1900

Buster Brown Valentine postcard by Richard Felton Outcault, early years of 20th century

Advertisement for Prang’s greeting cards, 1883

Postcard by Nister, circa 1906

Valentine postcard, circa 1900–1910

A tiny 2-inch pop-up Valentine, circa 1920

Football-playing Disney-like rat and bulldog are set in motion by the pull-tab on the right, circa 1920

A grommet affixed to the center of the card permits the dog’s eyes to glance side-to-side when the blue bow is moved

Rocking horse and rider, circa 1920–1930

Children’s Valentine, 1940–1950

Anthropomorphic Valentine, circa 1950–1960