It’s February and that means it’s time to celebrate the day of love, otherwise known as St. Valentine’s Day. Whether your idea of celebrating includes a heart-shaped box of chocolates, a diamond engagement ring or snuggling with a loved one, here are five things that were created (and, in some cases, patented) to celebrate love.
1. NECCO® Sweethearts Conversation Hearts
From school kids to adults, nothing says “I love you” better than sweethearts candies printed with sweet nothings. For the first time in 145 years, Sweethearts® discarded all its previous phrases such as “Be Mine” and “Kiss Me” and asked the public for input on how they express their love. Eight billion of these sweet little candy hearts are manufactured (and sell out in just 6 weeks!) each Valentine’s Day by the New England Confectionery Company, otherwise known as NECCO®. Although the modern day sweethearts conversation hearts date back to the early 1900s, the concept originated in the late 1800s when a process was developed that allowed a saying to be printed directly on the candies. Needless to say, although the sayings have been updated to reflect the times, the candies remain a classic Valentine’s Day tradition.
2. Snuggie Blanket for Two
If the weather outside is still frightful—or even if it isn’t—you and your loved one might want to get cozy in a Snuggie Blanket for Two. As the newest edition to the Snuggie family, the limited edition Couples Snuggie is made of thick, soft luxurious fleece in a red. Roomy enough for two, you and your significant other can snuggle together in a gigantic 81” x 71” blanket that covers you from head to toe. Oversized sleeves allow you to move around comfortably, giving you the ability to use your hands for eating, talking on the phone or reading a book. Although not an entirely new idea, it may be the first to be produced commercially.
3. Hand Hugger™
If Punxsutawney Phil predicted 6 more weeks of winter in your neck of the woods, then the hand hugger™ or "Fleece Glove for Two" by Smitten Mittens might be the perfect romantic gift for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day. Made of the finest fleece, the oversized glove and “mitten for two” allows lovers to hold hands inside the glove, keeping both their hands and hearts warm while walking along on a winter’s day. Over the years, various inventors have been issued patents for similar types of mittens, including Mark Neider of New York, NY who received U.S. Patent 2611901 in September 1952 for his version of the “love glove.”
4. Valentine Candy Box
Richard Cadbury of the famed British Cadbury Chocolate Company is credited with thinking up the heart-shaped Valentine chocolate box in 1861 as a marketing ploy, but it wasn’t until 1868 that his brother and business partner, John, began mass-marketing the boxes of chocolates. Either way, we’re glad they did. Who doesn’t love to receive a heart-shaped box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day? And, as a bit of trivia, Cadbury didn’t actually patent the heart-shaped, box but numerous others have, including John H. McGrath whose U.S. Patent 2063259 for a candy box for packaging candy was issued on December 8, 1936.
5. Heart-Shaped Diamond
For the more serious among us who just might be contemplating popping the question, what could be more romantic or unusual than an engagement ring sporting a heart-shaped diamond? Patented by Roni Rydlewic of Brussels, Belgium in 2008 (U.S. Patent D567137), the assignee is New York, NY–based Sundiamond USA Corporation.
NECCO® Sweethearts Conversation Hearts
Snuggie Blanket for Two
“The Love Glove”