I am in love with Vintage Valentines, as you may have guessed by looking at my shop at JessicaSprague.com. Whenever I go into a vintage shop or when perusing Etsy I am on the lookout for a Whitney-Made Valentine from the 1920s or 30s. These were created for George Whitney for his valentine’s card company from the late 1800s until around 1940. And George got his start working for Esther Howland.

Esther is known as the “Mother of the American Valentine”. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College, in 1847 and upon receiving a valentine from England from her dad, she became intrigued by the beautiful Victorian lace. She ordered lace from England and starting her own card and stationary company. Esther got help from friends and family and grew her business into a thriving company — making over $100k per year. Unheard of for that time and by a woman, no less. Very inspiring! She sold the company to George Whitney in 1871.

I found these beautiful 1920’s Whitney valentine’s at a local used book store in Ann Arbor. I just adore the color illustrations and detailed embossing and cutout shapes. Even better are the whimsical illustrated sentiments inside…


What kind of vintage paper items excite you and get your creativity going?

Here is a little sample for you from my latest Vintage Valentine’s 3.. I hope you enjoy it!
It’s a .png file – just click for full size, then select File, Save Page As, from your browser to download the .png file.


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