Meat Juice Love: A Story of Portraits Series
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Time to get your roses and chocolates together for your special someone, but don’t forget the meat juice, specifically Valentine’s Meat Juice. The love story of Mann and Ann Valentine is full of romance, money, and meat.
One day while living in the Valentine home, Ann was diagnosed with a terrible sickness. Mann Valentine combining his artist ingenuity with his scientific interests took to the basement, like a mad scientist and worked laboriously to find a cure for Ann’s ailment. Mixing various juices from meats with egg whites he created Valentine’s Meat Juice. The concoction helped Ann Valentine regain her strength by providing her with the protein and nutrients that Valentine claimed brought her back to health.
The story could very well end there, but Mann decided there was more to squeeze out of the meat than just juice, profit. Mann Valentine along with his sons turned his recipe into a fully operational business venture that started in Richmond but would soon go global. Valentine patented the juice formula and within a few years the business was a success. At one point even President Garfield had requested Valentine’s Meat Juice. Mann’s sons would go on to take over the business after he died. Two of his sons, Granville and Edward studied chemistry at Richmond Medical College and Virginia Military Institute respectively. The Valentine family would sell Meat Juice for over 100 years, closing in 1986.
The profits from Valentine’s Meat Juice sales contributed dollars to the creation of the Valentine Museum where the love story of Mann and Ann lives on.
To learn more about the Valentine family, Meat Juice and the original collection of the Valentine Museum, visit our current exhibition Creating History: The Valentine Family and the Creation of a Museum.
Mann Satterwhite Valentine Jr. and Ann Maria Gray Valentine
c. 1855/c. late 19th century
William James Hubard/Unidentified Artist
Valentine’s Meat Juice Company 1600 Chamberlayne Avenue
Virginia Room in the Valentine Museum
Bottle of Valentine’s Meat Juice (Reproduction)
Valentine Meat Juice Labels, printed 1986
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