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Vinegar Valentines from the not-so-good old days

If you choose to bypass all the syrupy sweetness of Valentine’s Day in favor of a more apropos annual Bitterness Bash, you may be left feeling like a real Scrooge of sentiment, but if the only red you see is the rage directed toward the ex, you have some distinguished historical company.

For a hundred years, from around 1840 to the outbreak of WWII, those with a bone to pick didn’t take to the Facebook or send a nasty text to vent their spleen, they sent the kind of card that would make Hallmark huddle under the blanket and cry like a baby.

Explained Annebella Pollen of the University of Brighton:

I’d say it would be a cheaply made card, with a printed satirical image that mocks the recipient and has a little doggerel verse underneath, usually four- or six-lined, describing some aspect of their personality and dismissing it. I like the term “vinegar” because it describes the opposite of the sweet sentiment of nice Valentines. They can vary from being a little bit tough to being absolutely bitter at their most extreme.

By no means do we recommend restarting this business, but just reading them is a great way to pass the time as you down this year’s bitter brew.

Full story at Collectors Weekly via Neatorama.

A proud holiday tradition.

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