Once Upon a Valentine

Source: P.F. Volland Company Records, Special Collections
Source: P.F. Volland Company Records, Special Collections
Source: P.F. Volland Company Records, Special Collections
Source: P.F. Volland Company Records, Special Collections

As February 14 approaches, men and women, young and old will wade through seas of red and pink in card aisles trying to find the perfect words to convey their feelings and sentiments to loved ones and sweethearts. Exchanging valentine cards has been popular since the late 1700s, and continues to be today.

In 1908 the P.F. Volland Company opened at 58 E. Washington. The new publishing company launched a series of greeting cards, gift books, framable mottos and specialty envelopes among numerous other kinds of stationery and printed goods.

The Volland Collection in the Special Collections and Preservation Division at Chicago Public Library includes tens of thousands of greeting cards for all occasions, including valentines, spanning from the 1930s to the 1950s. Cards were priced from five to 25 cents each depending on embellishment and size. Perhaps this selection will inspire you to send the perfect card to someone you love this year.

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