Friday, September 28, 2018

Tea and Visiting Card Etiquette

Calling or “visiting cards” were very important in the early 1900’s. Especially if one was new to an area and getting acquainted. Even more so, if advertisements by card-makers were true and hostesses set upon the visiting cards the minute guests left, to see if the cards were proper or not! 

Georgia Belle Graber’s cards were very plain. She ordered them in 1907 when she married C.C. Graber and moved to Ontario to live and start her family.
According to Country Living magazine, austere calling cards were what the "true upper-crusters” (think Downton Abbey) used. They engraved their cards with nothing more than a name and avoided any sign of frivolity or fussiness, like images of birds or flowers. From what my late mother in-law, Betty Graber said, Georgia Belle would have probably been shocked to find that she was considered an “upper- cruster” due the simplicity of her calling card.
Newspapers and women’s magazines carried advertisements, like the one from 1907 pictured above, that played on the sensibilities of etiquette-minded women who wanted to do the socially correct thing. No woman of 1907 wanted to be seen as “entirely out of harmony with the demands of etiquette”!   

Posted by Site Editor, Maura J. Graber