Valentine-Be Mine across the century

Happy Valentine’s Day to all.  History.com writes that 85% of Valentine’s Cards are sent by women! That makes this sweet little card even more unusual-because it was sent from a man, my grandfather, Josef, just one month after his arrival in America January 1911.

(Read about Josef’s adventurous trip at these posts: Terror Atop the TrainThreats to the DreamOut to Sea)

He sent the card to his sweetheart, Lisi Ebner, as part of his campaign to persuade her to join him in this country, where he knew, at the age of twenty-one, he could make a future for himself and Lisi, if only she’d come. (He was living and working in Cleveland, Ohio, at the time).

Here’s what it says (more than a century ago, the language was more formal than today):

Forget me not
You sweet heart 
Greetings and kisses
Farewell. Adieu.

What I write is only for you to read—not for others. No other person should see it. I kiss your hand.

Josef’s main goal was to never let Lisi forget how much he loved her and that he wanted her by his side. To read more about this Valentine and Lisi’s letter to follow, read this post, written on the 100th anniversary of this card being sent: Be my Valentine, 1911.

This Valentine has now been saved for more than 100 years! My family was into that.  Do you keep your Valentines or other greeting cards from dear ones?

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