The ‘Mom Of The American Valentine’ By no means Married
Worcester, MA, the as soon as-bustling industrial metropolis 45 minutes west of Boston the place I stay, is enormously pleased with its moderately peculiar list of “well-known firsts”, together with barbed wire, shredded wheat, the monkey wrench, the delivery control pill, the primary good game in main league baseball, the primary liquid-fueled rocket and the ubiquitous yellow Smiley Face icon.
And yearly about this time, you hear about how Worcester produced the first commercial valentines on this nation because of a foresighted younger girl named Esther Howland, identified because the “Mom of the Valentine.”
Esther Howland (1828-1904) attended Mount Holyoke at the identical time as Emily Dickinson. She was the daughter of a profitable Worcester stationer and, in 1847, she obtained a frilly English valentine that impressed her to ask her father to order materials from England in order that she could assemble her personal. She then convinced her brother, a salesman for the company, to point out a couple of of her valentines on his sales rounds.
The preliminary demand was overwhelming and Esther gathered a few of her friends to help her assemble the valentines, seating them around a protracted desk on the third flooring of her home. The corporate was ultimately incomes $100,000–a phenomenal success.
Esther stone island jacket sale blue is taken into account vital as a result of, in line with historians, she was among the first commercially successful girls overseeing a female-run business, and she basically created the meeting-line system, paying the local ladies “liberally”. She launched layers of lace, three-dimensional accordion results, and insisted that the verses be hidden inside–one thing you had to hunt for. She had her workers mark the again of every stone island jacket sale blue valentine with a red “H”.
Within the Victorian era, Valentines have been wildly common, and the elaborate playing cards have been scrutinized for clues–even the place of the stamp on the envelope meant one thing. Stone Island Trousers Typically the valentine was meant as a marriage proposal.
“The last week has been a merry one in Amherst; notes have flown round like snowflakes. Historical gentlemen & spinsters, forgetting time & multitude of years, have doffed their wrinkles – in exchange for smiles…”
In 1879–after 30 years in business–Esther Howland merged with Edward Taft, the son of Jotham Taft, a North Grafton valentine maker. Together they formed the new England Valentine Co. (and their playing cards were marked “N.E.V.Co.”)
That is the place Esther Howland’s title of “Mother of the Valentine” begins to get just a little shaky.
It appears, upon a lot examine, that Edward Taft’s father, Jotham Taft of North Grafton, a small village close to Worcester, started the business valentine enterprise within the U.S. even before Miss Howland did, but he did not like to talk about it, as a result of the Taft household were strict Quakers and Jotham Taft’s mom sternly disapproved of such frivolity as Valentines. (Full disclosure–I stay in North Grafton, a couple of stone’s throw from the place Taft worked.)
In 1836, Jotham Taft married Sarah E. Coe of Rhode Island and two years later, they welcomed twin sons. But in 1840, one of many twins died immediately, leaving Mrs. Taft prostrate with grief. Jotham determined to take his wife and surviving son to Europe with him on a buying trip for the stationer who employed him, and whereas in Germany, he bought many valentines provides–laces, lithographs, birds and cupids.
When he returned, Taft began making valentines with his wife’s help, and in 1844–3 years before Esther Howland graduated from faculty–he opened a valentine “factory” in North Grafton (then called New England Village.) However due to his mother’s disapproval, Taft by no means put his personal identify on the valentines–solely “Wood” (his middle identify) or “N.E.V.” for “New England Village”. Some believed that Taft educated Elizabeth Howland as one among his workers before she opened her personal factory.
Taft and Howland merged into the new England Valentine Co. in 1879, and a yr later Esther’s father turned ailing and she left her enterprise to care for him. After he died, she moved in with one of her brothers and she passed away in 1904.Sadly, despite all the couples who presumably discovered their true love because of Esther’s creations, the “Mom of the Valentine” never married.
In 1881, George C. Whitney purchased the mixed enterprise of Taft and Howland and it grew to become The Whitney Co, which dominated valentine manufacturing for a few years. As a substitute of playing cards laboriously made by hand, Whitney turned to machine- printed valentines and ultimately added postcards within the 1890’s. The Whitney designs, featuring children who resembled the “Campbell Soup ” children, had been wildly popular, although more typically exchanged by youngsters than grownup lovers, and in 1942 the Whitney manufacturing unit closed, on account of wartime paper shortages.