Valentine's Day is a pretty important day around the Franklin home. It's a day when I get to really dote on Mrs. Franklin, bringing her flowers and chocolate. She also loves Valentine's Day cards. Last year, I made a "tactical error" when I sent her an electronic-card.
I never heard the end of that. Big mistake. Boys, don't do what I did!
And in case you didn't know it, the mail has had a big hand in shaping Valentine's Day. Here's a short history:
In the 1600s, Europeans were composing verses for their sweethearts. English verse writers immigrated to the U.S. and helped spark a valentine greeting rage. They came up with a collection of romantic verses and messages that could be copied onto fancy paper.
Esther Howland created the first commercially-made valentines in America. She didn't care for the English prose, so she created her own and sold about $100,000 a year in valentine cards.
Romantic greetings eventually became an art form, adorned with lace, silk, feathers and flowers. Some were even perfumed.
Penny posts became the popular valentine from 1890 to 1917. Around that time, the Postal Service implemented these penny greetings, making it affordable to mail cards.
Today, Valentine's Day is the second biggest day for exchanging cards. Got a comment? Click here.