What Valentine’s Day Looked Like Hundreds of Years Ago

Source: Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection / CORBIS / Corbis via Getty Images

Card swaps at school
> Time: 1900s

Didn’t get the Valentine’s Day card from the one you hoped for? Grade-school students solved that problem by swapping cards, which goes back to the early 20th century.

Source: Joe Haupt / Flickr

Simple card designs
> Time: 1900s

Card designs became more simple in the 20th century, with less emphasis on fancier features such as feathers and beads. The cards also included innovations like pull tabs.

Source: skodonnell / Getty Images

Hershey’s Kiss chocolates
> Time: 1907

Hershey’s introduced the chocolate kisses in 1907 and they have been closely associated with Valentine’s Day ever since. Hershey’s founder Milton Hershey hit on the idea of wrapping the confection in tin foil, believing people wanted to carry the treats around with them. The company began wrapping them in pink and red foil in 1986.

Source: andertoons-cartoons / Flickr

Hallmark Valentines
> Time: 1913

Greeting card company Hallmark first offered Valentine’s Day cards in 1913 and began mass-producing them three years later.

Source: Imperial War Museum / Wikimedia Commons

Newspaper messages
> Time: 20th century

Newspapers such as the English daily The Guardian began publishing messages in their personal columns on Feb. 14. People were able to place personal ads — a message to their Valentine — in the paper.