On Valentine’s Day

What’s in Mrs. Hale’s Receipt for the Millions 1857?

2703. Love’s Telegraph.–If a gentleman wants a wife, he wears a ring on the first finger of the left hand; if he is engaged, he wears it on the second finger; if married, on the third; and on the fourth, if he never intends to be married.

Huh? I never knew that.

Valentines and all that 1850s

We sometimes forget that celebrating Valentine’s Day goes back a ways. It seems  to have become quite popular by the 1850s in the form of posters and cards.

Of course, sentiment reigns♥♥

There are poems:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1850)

There are puns:

What is the difference between an accepted and rejected lover?

~One kisses his missus, the other misses his kisses.  Harper, 1857

And Advertisements:

1856 ad from the Alta California in San Francisco. Apparently it was a leap year.

A final thought from Mrs. Hale on Love’s telegraph– for the ladies:

2704. When a lady is not engaged, she wears a hoop or diamond on her first finger: if engaged, on the second; if married on the third; and on the fourth if she intends to die a maid.


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2 thoughts on “On Valentine’s Day

  1. I enjoyed reading the history surrounding rings and marital status of men and women as far back as 1857. And thanks for the opportunity to read Elizabeth Barret’s poem again.

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