For a Valentine’s Day cliché, the history of conversation hearts is surprisingly interesting.
In 1847, a Boston pharmacist attempted to create a lozenge, but ended up inadvertently inventing America’s first candy-making machine. While there’s speculation the conversation hearts we know today were made to send loving messages to Civil War soldiers, it was the pharmacist’s brother who was responsible for printing words on the candy – with vegetable dye – in an effort to compete in the Valentine’s Day card market.
At that time, the conversation hearts were much larger and included messages such as, “MARRIED IN WHITE YOU HAVE CHOSEN RIGHT.”
– Aly Coleman, On 3 Public Relations