Friday, February 4, 2022

Vintage Valentine's Day Cards - 1950s

Two years ago, I shared some "classroom" Valentines, from my childhood.  A good number of those were unused Disney-themed Valentines, which I had saved for years.

Today, I'm sharing some larger Valentine cards.  These were all glued inside of a scrapbook that my mom had made, back when she was in junior high school.  The pages were labeled, "Valentine's Day 1950."

This first one was given to my mom, by her grandmother.

This one was given to her by her friend, "Kathy."

For some reason, this next one was unsigned.  Maybe it was from a "secret admirer."

This Valentine was from "Spencer."  That "playing post office" line is pretty old.  I'm not sure that kids today would know what that means.  In fact, I'm not sure that I know what it means.  Isn't it a little too risque to be included on a "school" Valentine?

Hey, this one's also a little risque.  I'm not a prude, but this was given to an eighth grader......and my mother!  This was from a friend with the nickname, "Poncy."  We'll get to see what a "Poncy" looks like, in just a minute.

The scrapbook also included some photos that my mom had taken, of her friends at school.  Several years back, my mom had gotten this scrapbook out and was showing it to me.  At that time, she shared stories about the items in the book, and also about the people in these photos.

This is my mom (left) with her friend, Kathy, who had given her one of the Valentines seen above.  My mom told me about how Kathy lived in a house behind the Los Angeles County Arboretum.  She said one day, Kathy and her family woke up to the sounds of "wild animals."  When they looked out their windows, they could see elephants and other animals, walking around.  The animals had been brought to the Arboretum, for the filming of one of the Tarzan movies.

The guy on the far right, is Poncy!  It almost seems like the guy in the leather jacket (on the left) would be a "Poncy."  The guy in the white shirt is "Spencer," who also gave my mom one of the Valentines, seen above.

And here is another shot of Poncy.  His real name was Ronald.  I did the math and figured out that he would now be 85 years old.  I wonder if people still call him "Poncy"?  If Arthur Fonzarelli had been a real person, would people have continued to call him, "Fonzie," on into his senior years?

I was curious as to whether or not this school was still standing.  Well, it is, and I found out from Google "street view," that those support columns with the crisscross framework also still exist.  I also got to wondering about those houses across the street from the school.  It looks like they have all been torn down, and replaced with "town houses."  But that little Spanish-style bungalow seen above, was the last one to go, and was still standing as recently as 2007.  Unfortunately, it disappeared shortly after that.  In this screenshot from July of 2007, it looks like it was going to be bulldozed at any moment.

Okay, back to the vintage Valentines!  These next three were just "loose" and were not glued into the scrapbook.  This first one was given to my mom, by her grandmother.  The red trim around the edges and some of the hearts, were "flocked."

This one was given to her, by her father.  It has the year, 1951, printed on the back of it.

And this one was given to her, by her mother.  The large red heart is made of a satin-like material, and is "padded."  I must have forgotten to scan the inside of the card, because I did not find it in my files.

We will end this post with a vintage Valentine postcard, which is over 100 years old.  I bought this for my mom, in an antique store in Victoria, B.C., Canada.  The store had a large collection of postcards from the early 1900s.  I bought my mom several, including ones for Easter, Mother's Day, Christmas, and Thanksgiving.  I also gave her a frame, so that she could display them, according to the current holiday season.  Most of the details on the postcard are embossed, including Cupid, the hearts, and all of the flowers.

I hope everyone enjoyed these vintage Valentine cards.  Here's wishing an early "Happy Valentine's Day," to all!

Update:  I have since done another "Vintage Valentine" post, featuring Valentines from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.  For anyone who's interested, that post can be seen by clicking here:  More Vintage Valentines - 60s, 70s, & 80s. 



"Lou and Sue" said...

I LOVE this post, TM! I’ll be back to comment more, when I have some free time, later...

TokyoMagic! said...

Sue, no problem! I'm glad to hear that you liked it!

K. Martinez said...

These are really great, TM! I love vintage Valentine's Day cards even if I'm not a fan of the holiday in general. I love how you made this post personal and about your mom. I got a kick out of the Valentine card "Poncy" gave to your mom.

The two postcards from her grandmother and one from her father are really extra nice.

"Playing post office" is an old-fashioned children's kissing game from long ago. It's not on the level of "playing doctor".

Anyway, love your post. Still, I like President's Day better if you know what I mean. ;-)

K. Martinez said...

I should've been more specific and say I love Washington's Birthday which we used to get off when we were kids.

Major Pepperidge said...

I too love this post, it always means so much when we learn about something that is personally important to our bloggers. Your mom saved all of these, which is pretty awesome! We did Valentine's Day exchanges too, and we usually had to do a craft project where we would make a container to hold all of the cards. I remember using empty Quaker Oats cartons several years in a row.

I also remember going to the store with my mom to buy boxes of Valentines for class, though I don't remember that vividly. Did they come in boxes of 20? 30? We had a lot of kids in our classes!

It's interesting to see the change in art styles for Valentines as the years passed, when I was a kid there were cards that reflected the hippie counter culture, though of course there were plenty with adorable baby ducks or fuzzy kittens too. Some of the examples you shared today have a distinctive style, I wish I could remember the name of the company that made them, but they were very popular.

I never saved any, sadly. Lots of stuff got thrown out during our many moves. Thanks for sharing these!

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, I actually had to look up "Playing Post Office," and saw that it was just a "kissing game." I thought there might be more involved with it, like "Playing Doctor" suggests. I was also surprised to see that it goes back to the 1800s! It sure is mentioned on a lot of old TV shows. In fact, someone just brought it up today, on an old episode of "Match Game."

I know why you like Washington's Birthday more than Valentine's Day, Groundhog Day, Lincoln's Birthday, National Kite Flying Day, or National Eat Ice Cream For Breakfast Day! But I'll never tell!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I'm glad that you liked this post. It's funny, I had seen a lot of my mom's old photos over the years, and I had also seen her school "annuals." I had even seen her collection of "souvenir" menus, which she took from various restaurants, as a teenager (I need to post those!) But I had never seen this scrapbook before, until she got it out a few years back. I am SO glad that she sat down with my brother and me, to talk about the items and also the people in the photos. There were also some birthday and 8th grade graduation cards in the scrapbook. I'll have to share those at some point.

I knew that my mom saved birthday and holiday cards, but I didn't know that she had started saving them that far back! Now I know why I saved those type of items from my childhood. It must be in the genes!

I know what you mean about the evolution of the greeting card graphics over the years. I have a very "Hippie-ish" Halloween card to share this October. I wish I had been able to see the backs of these cards, but I didn't want to rip them off of the pages they were glued to. The back of one of the "loose" cards (the green one with the pink flowers, from 1951) reads, ""A Valentine Of Character" Designed By A Member Of The Rust Craft Artists' Guild" and also, "Copyright MCMLI Rust Craft Boston." Was the name of the card company that you were trying to come up with, "Buzza," by any chance?

DrGoat said...

Great post TM. Brings back memories of elementary school in the 50s. We would all buy those packets of Valentine's day cards and pass them out to everyone in the class. "We are like to peas in a pod"...with a cute picture of two peas smiling at one another, all cozy in their little pea pod. I remember that one for some reason.
Only special people got these fancy ones. At that age of pre-girl friends, it must have been Mom.
Thanks TM!

TokyoMagic! said...

DrGoat, thank you! I seem to remember a "We Are Like Two Peas In A Pod" Valentine, too. I thought I had posted that in my Valentine post from two years ago, but I couldn't find that specific one. However, I did post a similar one, with two smiling peas in a pod. The phrase is just different....but it's still pretty corny:

K. Martinez said...

Well, I do have to say that National Eat Ice Cream For Breakfast Day is pretty darn special.

Major Pepperidge said...

The card company I was thinking of is Norcross, they had a very particular style, perhaps one artist designed all of their cards. I think that the one you shared ("I'll dance to your tune" looks like it might be a Norcross card.

"Lou and Sue" said...

TokyoMagic! It's heartwarming to hear you sat with your mom while she shared her past stories. I bet she 'lit up' while telling you all about the boys from her sweet, and very special to re-live those memories with her. You'll always treasure the memory.

I enjoyed all the Valentines and fun photos!

Happy Valentine's Day!

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, I think eating ice cream for breakfast is pretty special, but who knew it had it's very own "day"?

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I posted a Norcross Halloween Card here, in October of 2020. The thing I like about it, other than it's cool graphics (or "ghoul" graphics), is that they printed graphics on both the front and the back of the card. That's something that most companies don't spend the time or money doing. Here's the link to that Norcross Halloween card. It's from the early 1970s. (Scroll all the way down to almost the bottom of the post. It's the last greeting card posted.)

TokyoMagic! said...

Sue, you are right, that was a special moment. Fortunately, we had a lot of special moments like that. My brother and I always liked to hear about what it was like when my mom was younger. I guess that also goes for any of our relatives, who would be telling us about the past. I know some people aren't interested in that, but we always were.

Happy Valentine's Day to you, too!

DrGoat said...

Special moments are what will sustain you as you get older. I was also lucky to have wonderful parents sometimes it seems that my whole childhood was one big special moment, and I'm sure you and Sue feel the same way.

Anonymous said...

Tokyo, I'm wiping my eyes reading this post. It's very dusty in here, or maybe there's minced onion in my lunch.

Thank you for this, it's just what I needed.


TokyoMagic! said...

JG, Awwwww....sorry to hear about your "eyes." But I'm glad to hear that you liked this post. Thanks for commenting!

TokyoMagic! said...

DrGoat, I agree with you about the special moments. I was also lucky enough to have a pretty special childhood. And fortunately, I was blessed with a good memory, so I do remember a lot of those special moments.

Stefano said...

Many thanks for sharing these, TM! I saved a lot of similar material in childhood, including Disneyland ephemera, then tossed it in early adulthood, when one wants to be grownup, etc. Regrets! I've spent a couple of years now at Ebay, replacing things remembered so fondly.

In addition to cards, there were Dennison's Valentine's Day seals, always a treat to have fixed on returned elementary school assignments. They had seals of course for all the major holidays, very appetizing looking. And I can't forget ( or find on ebay) Valentine's 1983, with two chocolate boxes for monkeyish gals and guys: "Gorilla My Dreams" and "Banana My Dreams".

There was a Little Rascals short in which Spanky referred to Playing Post Office, which would not have been allowed in the 1930s if it meant anything more than kissing.

TokyoMagic! said...

Stefano, I may have saved a lot of stuff, but there were some things that I got rid of, which I now kick myself over. Yes, regrets!

I remember the name Dennison's for labels and seals, although I don't remember anything specific. I wonder if they made the "stars" that teachers would apply to our homework.

Of course, if the Little Rascals were referring to "Playing Post Office," it couldn't have been risque! Now that you've mentioned them, I seem to remember some homemade Valentines in one of their short films. Or maybe they were just heart-shaped cards, and there wasn't a specific Valentine theme. Maybe I'm remembering a card that Norman ("Chubsy-Ubsy") gave to Miss Crabtree???