John Valentine: FTD Founder


When:
early-1900s

Where: Denver, CO

john a valentineftd imageWhy Important: John Valentine founded the Florists’ Telegraph Delivery Association (FTD) in 1910 so people could deliver flowers all across the country.

Biography

John Valentine lived in Denver. He started and owned the Park Floral Company.[footnote]“Park Floral Company $100,000 Greenhouses Under Construction.” Littleton Independent, June 1, 1923. CHNC [/footnote] Valentine wanted to help the floral industry to expand. He believed that florists needed to unite. Valentine also wanted to offer customers a way to send flowers across the country. He created a new way to send flowers by using the telegraph system and partnering with flower shops.[footnote]“Cut Flowers.” Routt County Sentinel, April 4, 1919. CHNC [/footnote]

Valentine used the telegraph to get flower orders from out-of-state florists. He would then have the flowers cut, arranged, and packed the next day. The flowers were delivered by train within three or four days. This was an unheard of accomplishment for the floral business at the time.

In 1910 Valentine brought together a small group of florists. They created the Florists’ Telegraph Delivery Association or FTD. Valentine and William Penn coined the phrase “Say it with Flowers.”[footnote]“If it is Something in Flowers-We Have It.” Fort Collins Courier, January 20, 1920. CHNC[/footnote]

Cross-country floral delivery started in Denver. John Valentine used the telegraph, the railroads, and ice (refrigerated railcars) to start a new way of delivering flowers and uniting florists. Although now owned by United Online, FTD has over 21,000 members today and stands behind its original purpose to deliver flowers efficiently.

Content Date: Jan. 1, 1900 to Jan. 1, 2011

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