Esther Howland’s Valentine Writer

Esther Howland’s Valentine Writer

The Sentimental Valentine Writer, for Ladies and Gentlemen. Worcester: E.A. Howland, [between 1851 and 1875].

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A previously unknown piece of American Valentine history in a pictorial printed wrapper. Esther Howland is celebrated (especially in her hometown of Worcester) as a female entrepreneur who sold the first commercially-produced Valentines in the United States. It was not previously known, though, that she also published more traditional forms of print -- like this pocket-sized cheat sheet that gave tongue-tied lovers appropriate phrases with which to woo their love interests. Esther Howland's father, Southworth Allen Howland, had published an earlier Valentine writer with the same title but entirely different content in Worcester between 1842 and 1853.

Adopted by William Wallace in memory of Norma Feingold

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