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Rogers Historical Museum  

Donation of the Month

Valentines cards
1994.44.3.2, Margaret Youngberg; 1996.42.2, Roberta Tucker

Valentines Day is the day to give your loved one candy or flowers as well as a card to express your feelings for them. So, how did we get a day dedicated to love? Some say it honors the day St. Valentine was killed by a Roman Emperor for marrying people and others say it was an attempt to Christianize a pagan spring festival. No matter the reason, people have been celebrating a day of love with poetry and song for generations. The words were finally written down on cards and given to the object of affection beginning in the 15th Century. The Victorians took the day to new heights by displaying and collecting the cards. The tradition is still honored and begins very early with elementary age children handing out the cards to fellow class mates, even if they think Johnny or Sally has cooties.

Early cards were handmade with real lace, honeycomb paper, paper puffs, flowers, gold leaf, and ribbons. Often these cards were hand delivered or left on the porch as postage was expensive. By the mid-1800s cards were made in factories with paper lace. They also started being mailed as the post office offered penny posts. The next step was mechanical cards beginning in the 1840s. Mechanical cards featured pull tabs or other devises to make objects on the cards move.

The popularity of Valentines cards in America received a boost from Esther Howland in 1850. An artist and daughter of a stationary store owner, Esther was familiar with the cards. She decided to make some using real lace imported from Europe. To market her designs she gave a few samples to her brother to carry with him. They were so popular she had too many to make on her own, so she enlisted friends and family to help her assemble the cards. Using the assembly line philosophy, Esther Howland had no problem making the orders. She turned her small operation into a business, which she ran until 1881.

As the second largest day for mail carriers, Valentines cards continue their popularity. Whether homemade or purchased at the store, one spends quite a bit of time finding the best poem to express their love. So as you reach for the perfect card remember the long tradition; and don’t be surprised if the one you send it to keeps it for many years.


More Donations of the Month

Arts & Crafts
Charles Summey Painting
Elsie Sterling Drawings & Photo
Erwin A. Doege pastel
M.E. Oliver’s Strange Scenes in the Ozarks
Roy Harris Carved Wagon
Seed Art

War Eagle Store

Household Goods
Andersons Grade A Egg Scale
Applegate Apothecary Bottle
Benton County Wine Bottles
Circa 1923 Eureka Vacuum Cleaner
First M.E. Church, North souvenir plate, circa 1910
Gasoline powered iron
Grape Press
John Edwards china
Open Salts
Red Wing Crock, 1910s
Rogers Fairgrounds Souvenir
Cut Glass Dresser Box
Marshmallow Toaster
Fairy Lamps
Bubble Up Soda Bottles
Farmers Produce Co. Feed Sack
Butter Molds
Hand Painted China
Flow Blue China
Ritz Christmas Lites
Stove Top Steamer
Sunbeam Dairy Milk Bottle & Photo

Paper Ephemera, Books, & Photos
Advertising Folding Table
Camp Joyzelle Booklet
Callison-Lough Funeral Home Sketch
1943 Benton County Nursery Company Catalog
Apple Blossom Festival Postcard Booklet, April 1927
B.P.O.E. photo, 1960
Christmas Carols Songbook
Civil War Clothing Ledger
“Coin” Harvey family letters
Edsel Ford Poetry Books
Frisco Railroad Pass
Gold mine photos
Lime Works Stock Certificate
Louise Thaden Note
Menu from the Orchard Room
Cumberland Presbyterian Ladies Cook Book
Rogers Public School catalog, 1892-3
Elizabeth Miller Autograph Books
Discharge Papers
New Year Postcard
Political Campaign Buttons
Women's Study Club Program
Howard Fowler Photographs
Railroad Automatic Car Identification
1933 World's Fair Objects
Tobacco Tax Receipts
Valentines cards
Vandover & Sons Livery Stable Photograph
Printing Blocks
World War II Photos

Billiken Doll
Russ Troll Doll
Schoenhut Circus Toys
Steiff Teddy Bear
Horse Drawn Wagon
Lone Ranger Atomic Bomb Ring
J.D. Kestner Doll
Winter Sled

Textiles, Clothing, & Clothing Accessories
Confederate Officer’s Artillery Frock Coat?
Apple Blossom Festival Crown
Bicorn Hat
Blackburn Preaching Shirt
Christmas Stocking
Friendship Quilt
Garrett family coverlet, 1860s
Help One Another Club Quilt
Mary Van Winkle Steele’s Traveling Dress
McClain Family Crazy Quilt
Norman Tailor System dress pattern
Pillbox Hat
Hannah Lumm Dress
Whig Rose Quilt
Celluloid Items
Hair Work Jewelry
Evening Gown
Mesh Hand Bags
World War I Uniform
1906 Wedding Gown
Majorette Uniform & Spirit Ribbons


1860s Green & Sager Bedstead
Henry Tribble’s Speaker Cabinet
Tom Morgan’s Desk & Chair
W.H. Jewett Piano
Adding Machine Stand
Apple Cider Press
Colonial Revival Dining Room Chair
B.F. Gleason Cooling Table
Grundig Majestic radio

Kroger Shelves

Barbed Wire Samples
Betty Blake’s Composition Stick
Carry A. Nation Hatchet Brooch
Cash Register
Harris Baking Co. Souvenir
“Coin” Harvey Death Mask
KAMO Shovel
Erwin Funk’s Newspaper Convention Badges
Diamond Jubilee Badges
Tracy Lockhart’s Peddler Basket
Van Winkle Lumber
Surveyor's Compass
Remington Revolver
John Deere Corn Sheller
Rogers High School Dedication Stone
Permanent Wave Machine
City of Rogers License Plate
Chaplain's Field Kit
WWI Army helmet & print

Civil War Re-enactor Items
Lever Action Winchester Model 1892
Silica mining bucket






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