Vintage Vinegar Valentines

"The Boarding House Mistress," on eBay

In the 1840s and 1850s, a curious tradition emerged - Vinegar Valentines. (They were also known as Penny Dreadfuls).

"Miser" Vinegar Valentine, on Ebay

One might send a vinegar valentine (featuring a caricature and a nasty or mean poem) to someone you didn't like. At one point they accounted for more than fifty percent of all Valentine's mail!

"Barbara Bargain," on eBay

Cruel and a bit twisted, these dark Valentines are intriguing to look at through the lens of history.

"Lawyer" Vinegar Valentine, on eBay


Be My Vinegar Valentine (The Newberry Library)

The Bizarre Tradition of Vinegar Valentines (Bitch Magazine)

The Curious Tradition of Valentine's Day Hate Mail (Mental Floss)

The Days of the Vinegar Valentines (Daily Mail)

Happy Valentine's Day, I Hate You (Collector's Weekly)

Vinegar Valentines Reveal Tradition's Ugly Side (Telegraph)

When Love Letters Were Hate Mail (BBC)

"Mamma's Darling," on eBay