Valentine’s Day conversation hearts were invented long ago by a Boston candymaker named Oliver Chase in the 1860s.
According to Mike McGee, the president and CEO of Necco, the company that manufactures modern day Sweethearts, the 1860s treats consisted of a candy shell with a paper note inside a la a fortune cookie.
According to Real Simple, in 1866, Chase’s brother Daniel then had the idea to print messages directly onto the candy. At the time, the candies were in all shapes like “baseballs, horseshoes, watches, and yes, hearts.”
In the 1900s, the brothers’ company, the New England Confectionery Company — which is now Necco — decided to make just heart shapes and called them Sweethearts, which we know and love today.
See below for what the adorable creations have said throughout the years:
1800s: Courtly and poetic
MAY I SEE YOU HOME AFTER THE CIRCUS?
PLEASE SEND A LOCK OF HAIR BY RETURN MAIL
YOUR LIPS ARE LIKE A ROSE
1900s: Bossy and definitive
THE ONE I LOVE
1950s: Rock-and-roll pet names
1990s: Snarky sweetness
LET'S DO LUNCH
2016: Tech talk