Street Soul’s Valentine cards


It all started in 1797 when a British editor published a few sentimental verses for young lovers that couldn’t write their owns. By that time, some printers began to press a small number of cards with verses and sketches on them which were called “mechanical valentines”.

by Sergi Soriano Vilchez

“Untitled” by Sergi Soriano Vilchez

But it wasn’t until the early 19th century that Valentine cards became so popular, because of mass production of this cards in factories. By 1835, 60,000 Valentine cards were sent by post in Britain even with expensive post rates.

"Take my hand" by Jose Galvez Pujol

“Take my hand” by Jose Galvez Pujol

It took 40 years before this practice reached the United States by Esther Howland, who received her self a Valentine from a business associate of her father. A writer in Graham’s American Monthly observed in 1849, “Saint Valentine’s Day … is becoming, nay it has become, a national holiday.”

"Timeless love" by José Galvez Pujol

“Timeless love” by José Galvez Pujol

Since the 19th century, handwritten notes have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. In the UK, just under half of the population spend money on their Valentines and around 1.3 billion pounds are spent yearly on cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts, with an estimated 25 million cards being sent. The mid-19th century Valentine’s Day trade was a harbinger of further commercialized holidays in the United States to follow.

"Love" by Eduard Francés

“Love” by Eduard Francés

In the second half of the 20th century, the practice of exchanging cards was extended to all manner of gifts. Such gifts typically include roses and chocolates packed in a red satin, heart-shaped box. In the 1980s, the diamond industry began to promote Valentine’s Day as an occasion for giving jewelry.

"Presenting a present" by Fabián Úbeda Spura

“Presenting a present” by Fabián Úbeda Spura

The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately 190 million valentines are sent each year in the US. Half of those valentines are given to family members other than husband or wife, usually to children. When you include the valentine-exchange cards made in school activities the figure goes up to 1 billion, and teachers become the people receiving the most valentines.

“Words” by José Luis Gea

The rise of Internet popularity at the turn of the millennium is creating new traditions. Millions of people use, every year, digital means of creating and sending Valentine’s Day greeting messages such as e-cards, love coupons or printable greeting cards. An estimated 15 million e-valentines were sent in 2010. Valentine’s Day is considered by some to be a Hallmark holiday due to its commercialization.

"In love" by Eduard Francés

“In love” by Eduard Francés

Nowadays, with the democratization of photography and digital photo editing software we can customize our own e-Valentines. Love has inspired a huge number of artists of all kinds and photographers too. Love is everywhere, and so it is on the streets. If you are a street photographer, and you’re using digital supports, it is likely that your hard disk will be full with kissing and cuddling couples. Why not use those shots for customizable e-Valentines ?, Street Soul Photography wants to make it easier for you with this e-Valentine cards designed by our collaborator Isa Navarro

Adapted from wikipedia.

Copyright by Street Soul Photography, reproduction only with permission.


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