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Valentines from 1931

The Lincoln State Journal of February 13, 1931, included a description of the changing trend in Valentine's Day cards. The old-fashioned sentimental cards were being replaced by more novelty and comic greetings.

"Valentines for 1931 are super modern in construction and spirit. They take the forms of airplanes, automobiles, dirigibles, motorboats, and racing yachts. They have movable wings, doors and windows, steering wheels and other gadgets. The pilots and captains who fly and command them are attired in the latest flying, seamen's and chauffeur's togs. These little leather jackets, bright caps, helmets, goggles and maroon uniforms are removable. Thus this year's valentines are more than love tokens; they are toys for children and adults alike. . . .

"Why the sudden breakaway from the old-time lacy trifles and the ornate boxed valentines with their honey-comb tissue ornamentations, their doves and red, red hearts and trite 'Will you be my valentines' sentiment? The answer, startling enough, is one seemingly far removed from the esthetic realms of love and courtship. It is the general economic depression, the stockmarket crash and all the other financial bugaboos and black monsters that have been poking their dark visages around the Nation for the last year or more, shutting away the sunshine . . . .

"'We've got to make people forget their troubles,' said the head of one of the largest valentine-manufacturing companies of New York. . . . 'Business has been bad. Its up to us to make them forget this during at least one period of the year.'

The article included photos and descriptions of typical valentines of 1931, including those emphasizing the nation's fascination with aviation: "Lovesick pilots fly in dirigibles, gliders, airplanes, autogiros, and proclaim their love from the skies. Some fly alone, some have a cutie aviatrix with them. Propellers and wings are movable and the fliers can be taken out of the cockpits."

(February 1999)



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