Greeting cards offer a cultural snapshot of world events, slang, social norms and design styles that reflect what Americans have experienced over the past century. Check out the Hallmark slideshows below for examples.

NOTE: Slide show moving too fast? Click on any of the small images in the scroll below to stop the show, then click the arrows at the right or left of the scroll to see another image.

10s Val postcard

Be Mine Over Time

1910s — Valentines pre-date Hallmark and were among the first types of cards the company offered. A fire in 1915 that destroyed the company's inventory of Valentine postcards led to the purchase of printing equipment so Hall Bros. (which would become Hallmark) could begin creating its own Valentines and other cards.

20s Val girl on sofa

Be Mine Over Time

1920s — The decade may have roared, but the invitation to join this lass on the loveseat was shy and sweetly coy.

20s Val heart

Be Mine Over Time

1920s — The color on this and other Hallmark cards through the 1920s and 1930s was applied by hand, until lithography made color printing feasible.

30s Val bear tub

Be Mine Over Time

1930s — Rub-a-dub-dub, what's that in the tub? It's a washboard, common in households before washing machines were widely available.

30s Val boy girl on swing

Be Mine Over Time

1930s — Even with patched pants, love prevailed in this Depression-days Valentine.

40s Val for husband

Be Mine Over Time

1940s — "From me, your little sweetie pie, who really, truly loves her guy," is the message inside this Valentine from a wife to her husband.

50s Val Love wartime

Be Mine Over Time

1950s — "Don't be silly," reads the rest of this Hallmark card intended for a loved one serving in the Korean war.

50s Val Love zowie

Be Mine Over Time

1950s — "And ZOWIE, they still do!" reads the message inside of this swell Hallmark Valentine.

60s  Val Contemporary

Be Mine Over Time

1960s — Smoking was cool until the Surgeon General's office issued its warning in the mid-1960s. No cautionary message about hairstyles of the day, however.

70s Val hippie

Be Mine Over Time

1970s — " more nice people like you!" reads the inside of this happy hippie Hallmark Valentine card.

70s Val motorcycle photo

Be Mine Over Time

1970s — The photo treatment and hairstyles scream 1970s, but the message inside whispers: "With you, I feel beautiful."

80s Val good wife

Be Mine Over Time

1980s — Hubby was forthright and appreciative in his Valentine expression; the inside of this card reads: "...and in the hall and in the closet and in the den..."

80s Val Redford-1

Be Mine Over Time

1980s — Some of the decade's leading heart-throbs were on the wish list...

80s Val Redford-2

Be Mine Over Time

1980s — ...but it was the frog who came bearing gifts!

90s Val Mahogany

Be Mine Over Time

1990s — Inside, this card from Hallmark's Mahogany line continues: "You move through me like a summer breeze, awakening my senses, stirring my emotions, making me feel alive... Your love is like air, and in you, I breathe." Steamy!

90s Val Love pig

Be Mine Over Time

1990s — Whether it was "like" or "love"... a new romance or a long-term relationship, "Look, it's Cupig!" could work its whimsy on a range of 1990s relationships and situations.

2000s Val prince princess

Be Mine Over Time

2000s — It's a fairy-tale image in this Hallmark card, with words grounded in the reality of new millennium relationships.

2000s Val convertible

Be Mine Over Time

2000s — He... she... a parked car... it's the 21st century version of an age-old theme, set to a popular country tune courtesy of this Valentine Card With Sound.

2010s Val User-Created

Be Mine Over Time

2010s — "I'm nuts about you!" reads the inside of this consumer-created Valentine, a finalist in a Hallmark Card Contest during this decade.

Embed This

More Slideshows

  • Let's Talk Turkey

    On the table or in the cards, he's been the star of the Thanksgiving show over the years.

  • Many Faces of Santa

    The jolly old elf might be timeless, but his look has changed over a hundred years.

  • Mom Sweet Mom

    From teapots to technology, how we've honored our mothers over time.

  • Father Times

    He sat in his chair and read the paper. Went bowling and played golf. These days helps out at home, too.

  • Pop Culture Rules

    Movie stars, fashions and fads – they're part of popular culture, which means they're also part of our cards.

  • Technology in the Cards

    Typewriters then, texting today... see how cards reflect our technological progress.

  • Tough Times, Good Wishes

    Even in difficult times – especially in difficult times – cards help us stay connected.

  • You Know You're A Boomer If...

    Boomers' lives and milestones are well chronicled in Hallmark's first century.

Fun Fact

Eighteen-year-old entrepreneur J.C. Hall founded Hallmark in 1910 with little more than two shoeboxes full of postcards. Read more about J.C. Hall.