US Stamps

By John M. Hotchner

A love Marconigram for Valentine’s Day

January 20, 2016 05:01 PM

  • Valentine’s Day goes back centuries as a time to profess romantic love. This 1904 envelope arriving in the mail would certainly have made the recipient’s heart skip a beat. The cover was sent Feb. 11 from Austin, Texas.
  • The enclosure in the 1904 envelope simulates a telegram, but is special both for the multicolor presentation and the sentiment contained therein.

By John M. Hotchner

February 14 is the day to receive something special in the mail, and the “Love’s Marconigram” shown nearby would certainly get the recipient’s heart beating a little faster.

The envelope is franked with a 2¢ Washington Shield stamp (Scott 319) canceled Feb. 11, 1904, in Austin, Texas.

Opening this envelope reveals the beautiful enclosure. It is a take-off on a Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. telegram form, and guaranteed to make a great impression.

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The form in the envelope is printed and was undoubtedly never sent as a telegram.

Inscriptions on the form include an address of “1, Love Lane” on the left, the words “Red Heart Station” on the heart, and a simulated circular datestamp reading “Per Cupid’s Current Feb. 14,” also on the heart.

The poem in the center of the form reads:

“I’m all in a flutter, a message true

“Has come by a wireless wire from you

“Or something electric, I’m sure, or a dart,

“It’s vibrating now on the strings of my heart,

“The words I receive were as clear as could be

“I love you my darling

“I hope you love me.”

Italian inventor and engineer Guglielmo Marconi established the Wireless Telegraph & Signal Co. in England in 1897.

Three years later, it was renamed Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co.  The Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. of America was founded in 1899.

I suspect that company names were less zealously guarded in 1904 than they are today.

The whole package makes a lovely and special greeting, and a permanent keepsake.