Monday, February 7, 2011

Mother of American Valentines

Curious about how Valentines day came about? There are a few stories about saints called Valentine that were martyred, but no one really knows for sure which one is the Valentine. They may all be. However we do know for sure who Esther Allen Howland was and how she contributed to the holiday and American crafts. Her father owned a successful stationary shop, and a business associate of his sent her a lace valentine from England when she was 19, in 1847. Being sure she could make one better she talked her father into ordering the necessary supplies. She made up a few samples for her brother to take with him on his sales route. She had hoped to get 200.00 worth of orders, but he came back with 5,000.00. Getting started right away she hired girls to help make them and soon came up with an assembly line process, long before Mr. Ford. She ran her business on her own until 1881 when she sold it to help take care of her father. So this year make a Valentine for your loved ones worthy of the memory of Ms. Howland. A crafter, entrepreneur, and the "Mother of American Valentines".

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