Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

I have some old Valentine's cards that I bought from someone on Ebay a few years ago, so I scanned them and wanted to give them away as free graphics. But first I wanted to check the copyright. These are all from 1936. This makes them 73 years old. I guess they have to be 75 years old to be in the public domain.

However, according to Wikipedia with the exception of maps, music, and movies, the vast majority of works published in the United States before 1964 were never renewed for a second copyright term.

I don't know how true this
is and I tried to find more out
about these cards,
so I did a little research.

A woman named Esther Allen Howland, received a Valentine Card in 1847. She was so fascinated by it that she started to reproduce them herself. She ordered special papers and lace and soon found herself getting more orders than she could handle. (I only wish).

She then got some friends to help her and soon she was in business, eventually grossin
g $100,000 yearly. (Those Victorians loved their pretty, lacy papers and cards. They collected them and kept them in scrapbooks) Free Graphics

She retired in 1881 and sold her business to George Whitney.
His business became the biggest manufacturer
of Valentine cards. The business closed in 1942.

Doing searches on the internet, I found that ebay
is loaded with the Whitney valentines. There are traveling
valentine card shows that feature these cards.

Still, I could not find out if there was a
copyright on these from 1936.
I decided to show them anyway. I guess it's not different than showing the image on ebay for an auction.

Some of these are addressed to Viola and a few are addressed
to Lucille. This cards were only exchanged with girls, no boys signed any of these.

Enjoy looking at these Valentines and enjoy your Valentine's Day.

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