Here’s a time line of how love became commercialized. Information is courtesy of Live Science.
- 1868 – Richard Cadbury released the first Valentine’s Day box of Chocolates.
- 1902 – The New England Confectionary Company releases its first “conversation” hearts.
- 1840s – Esther A. Howland creates the first commercial Valentine’s Day cards in the U.S.
- 1913 – The Hallmark Company produces its first Valentine’s cards.
- 2010 – Total spending on Valentine’s Day is expected to be $14.1 billion. Men will spend on average $135. Women will spend half that amount. And both sexes will spend an average of $3.27 on their pets.
While the ancient Romans didn’t have cards, the men did write love poems to their mistresses about plagues and pain. How romantic.