Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Etiquette of Cuban Maidens

A young Cuban couple in traditional dress, circa 1890 — The strict watch maintained over Cuban maidens, the cast-iron rules of etiquette, which prohibit them from too great an indulgence in athletic sports or outdoor life, like that of Northern maidens, renders them less susceptible to tender passion.

Cuban Maids and Thoughts of Love

Slender, graceful Cuban maids, with smoothly plaited tresses, black as the raven's wing, large, lustrous, dreamy black eyes, clear, pale complexion, resembling the waxen tint of the lily, have their pretty heads filled with dreams of love before they quit the schoolroom. 

Their peculiar training, restricted sphere, as well as early maturity—for in the tropics, a girl blooms into womanhood in her thirteenth or fourteenth year—may be the reason why their thoughts turn to love before they have discarded their dolls, braids and short dresses. 

The strict watch maintained over the tender buds, the cast-iron rules of etiquette, which prohibit them from too great an indulgence in athletic sports or outdoor life, which a Northern maid enjoys, precluding romantic ideas and rendering her less susceptible to the tender passion, which is fostered by a secluded existence, may be the reason why Cuban girls look forward to matrimony as a release from these irksome bonds.

The romantic manner in which courtship is carried on tends to keep alive their illusions, for lovers susually walk up and down before their lady's dwelling like a sentinel on duty, because they are debarred from calling on a maiden until formally engaged, and then they can only see her in the presence of the family or exchange tender nothings under the argus eyes of her mamma, who keeps a strict watch over her offspring. —Leslie's Weekly, 1898



Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Fork Etiquette Saves Country

Thailand's King Mongkut

Did a Fork Save Thailand?

"Thailand, 1800s —As Europe greedily colonizes Thailand’s neighbors, King Mongkut modernizes his kingdom to prevent political takeover. In addition to Mongkut’s efforts to Westernize military strategies, advance women’s rights, and invite in Western business, his brother leads the adoption of Western cutlery. The fork, it’s said, “saves” Thailand from colonization." — Saveur Magazine

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Etiquette and Pilgrims' Meals

Pilgrim children usually stood at the table. Often they shared a plate. — "Willful waste brings woeful want and you may live to say, how I wish I had that crust that once I threw away." — Thomas Fuller

Pilgrim parents are strict with their children. Some of the rules sound familiar, like this one (from a book called The School of Manners) about speaking with your mouth full: 

When meat is in your mouth do not drink or speak or laugh — Dame Courtesy forbids.

But Pilgrim manners weren't always the same as ours. In their first years in America, they were too busy for regular meals. People just helped themselves right out of the cooking pot. They ate standing — in front of the fire, if the day was cold -— and then hurried off to work again.

When the family did eat together, the dinner table was often just some old boards laid on top of barrels. The cooking pot was placed in the middle, and the family gathered around.

Later, when the Pilgrims had more time —and more dishes — food was brought to the table on large, round platters called chargers

No one had his or her own plate. Instead, two people would share a trencher - a bowl carved or burned out of a block of wood.

A mother and father shared a trencher. Children shared, too. The Pilgrims thought that people who had their own trenchers were show-offs.

Some poor people didn't have wooden trenchers. Instead, they used pieces of stale bread as plates. They put the food on top of them, and after they ate the food, they ate the bread plates.

Almost nobody used forks. One Pilgrim, Governor John Winthrop, was given a fork as a present. It had only two times. The Pilgrims called it a "double dagger." 

They thought forks were silly. Why bother, they said, "Fingers were made before forks." —
 From "Eating the Plates" by L.R. Penner

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Collegiate Etiquette Class

Three common types of soup spoons — A boullion spoon, a cream soup spoon and a regular soup spoon: For Continental or American Dining, the spoon is dipped away from those dining, then brought to mouth level, and the soup sipped from the side of the spoon bowls. 

Etiquette Class to Put Silencer on Soup Spoons

No longer will it be necessary for the students of the New York University to be heard eating their soup, for Professor Arthur H. Nason has organized a class in etiquette where all such social difficulties will he straightened out. 


Professor Nason takes the stand that the knowledge of which is the proper fork, is just as necessary nowadays as is which is the proper mathematical formula, and he has offered to conduct his new class gratis for the benefit of the university students. – International News Service, New York, 1916


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Of Queens, Privilege and Etiquette

As much cannot be said of the prima donna or the great tragic or comic actress. But, whether it should be or not, the queens of the stage, while exposed to at least as fierce a light as that which "beats upon a throne," stand equally with the enthroned ones above the reach of conventional etiquette.

Privileged Women

According to Honore de Balzac, only two kinds ot women are permitted to make advances to men—to take that "first step" which, after all, costs very little. The women specially excepted from the general rule are Queens and actresses; and, with all due respect for the throne and for the stage, it must be admitted that members of these two privileged classes have, in many cases, profited largely by the permission accorded to them.

Queens and actresses, meaning in the latter case, "
Queens of the Theatre," and not the whole crowd of women and girls who have entered upon the dramatic career, are surrounded by homage; so that what on the part of other women would be active selection is but passive selection on theirs. They are no way exposed to the ignomy of a rebuff. A Queen, moreover, is strictly forbidden by etiquette to receive an unhidden declaration of love, or a spontaneous invitation of any kind. From a dancing partner to a partner for life she must signify her choice. 


As much cannot be said of the prima donna or the great tragic or comic actress. But, whether it should be or not, the queens of the stage, while exposed to at least as fierce a light as that which "beats upon a throne," stand equally with the enthroned ones above the reach of conventional etiquette. – Los Angeles Herald, 1883

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Presidential Theater Etiquette

President-elect attacks "Hamilton" saying Vice- President elect, Mike Pence, was 'harassed' by 'very rude' cast who stopped the show to confront VP sitting in the audience - 'We are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children'. Pence has been slammed for seeing the play, while the crowd booed him and his family. The booing was indeed harassment, but was the cast's plea, as well? Perhaps a more polite way to address Mr. Pence with their concerns, would have been to invite him and his family backstage to meet the cast after the show.
It is a point of etiquette, universally observed at the national capital, never to obtrude attentions upon the President when he appears in public. On the street or in any place of amusement in Washington, the President has the undisputed privilege of appearing as any private citizen, he is never stared at unless it is by strangers, and his appearance at a theater is not greeted with any sort of demonstration. 

The President may walk where he pleases in the streets of Washington, meeting with no further notice than the tipping of the hat, unless of his own motion he stops to speak with someone. Office seekers and petitioners never venture to approach him in the street. His surest riddance of the importunities of the throng is to go out among them. 

Sir Julian Pauncefote, speaking of the American customs that had impressed him, remarked that, while a foreigner's first impression might be that the seeming indifference of the public toward the President when be appeared on the street or at the theater was the result of an exaggerated idea of democracy, it must become apparent on closer observation that it was the highest possible tribute of respect and consideration. — San Francisco Argonaut, 1899


Etiquette Enthusiast Maura J Graber is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

British Military Etiquette Concerns

New recruits being fitted for their uniforms: WWI military etiquette did not permit officers and privates being seen together in public — even brothers taking their mum to a theater!

British
 Mother's Etiquette Problem


Wholesale enlistment in England is responsible for some Gilbertian situations. For instance, a woman writes to a newspaper to know what is the proper thing to do under the following curious circumstances: She has two sons in Lord Kitchener's army— one an officer, the other a private. On one occasion she wanted them to take her to a theater, but military etiquette does not permit officers and privates being seen together in public. 

Again, the brothers cannot meet their mother's guests at the dinner table for the same reason. Socially, when in mufti (civilian attire or "civies"), they rank alike, but nowadays uniforms are obligatory on all occasions. Hence the tangle. – Mariposa Gazette, 1915


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Mexican Theater Etiquette

Mexico City's "Palace of Arts" under construction, circa 1904
In Mexican theaters, women always go bareheaded and the men wear their hats all the time the curtain is closed. During the performance they remove them. 
Frequently men rise in their seats and sweep the tiers of boxes with large glasses. It is considered something of an honor to have the glasses of a swell below, leveled at your box. Smoking is permitted in all theaters. —City of Mexico Correspondent, 1900

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Opera vs Theater Etiquette

As a rule, greater elegance in dress is demanded at the opera.

There is little difference in the etiquette of the opera and the theater, except that the opera season is shorter, and for this reason is usually a fashionable diversion while it lasts, and, as a rule, greater elegance in dress is demanded. There are only a few important rules that need to be observed on ordinary occasions at the theater. Unless a box is to be occupied it is inconvenient to adopt the custom that some people have of coming in after the curtain has arisen, as this disturbs all the people in the vicinity of the late comers. 

During the performance absolute quiet must be maintained, for, although you many be enjoying yourself, the laughing and talking are annoying to those around who would undoubtedly prefer to listen to the play. – Sacramento Union, 1909

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Sunday, November 13, 2016

1920's Etiquette Becomes Law

1920's etiquette for making boys making calls on girls.




Don't Toot the Horn When Paying Calls

When you go calling, ring the door bell; don’t toot the horn. This has long been a matter of etiquette. Now North Carolina is going to have it a matter of law. 
A recent law in the state makes it unlawful to use the horn for any other means than a warning device, or to make any unnecessary noise, loud or harsh other than a reasonable warning. Does this mean a warning to get out of the way or a warning that the boy friend has arrived and is waiting? – The Healdsburg Tribune, 1927
Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Friday, November 11, 2016

Remembrance Day Etiquette

After the First World War, the poppy was adopted as a symbol of Remembrance. Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was inspired by the sight of poppies growing in battle-scarred fields to write a now famous poem called 'In Flanders Fields', in the spring of 1915, shortly after losing a friend, a Canadian doctor, in Ypres, Belgium. 



The Eleventh Hour
By Hilary Robinson


"For me, the phrase ‘the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month’ has always held great power and significance. It represents not only history – the end of the Great War, the First World War, the ‘war to end all wars’ – but also the moment in modern life when we are meant to stop, reflect and remember.

However, I have noticed that in my lifetime (and I’m not that old) many people have ‘stopped stopping’ for those two minutes, that they don’t always take the time for this small observance; instead they plough through, ignoring it or simply forgetting to pause. Not only are they themselves missing an opportunity to stop and reflect, but they are often actively intruding on those who do want to mark that time with silence.

In our constant modern rush we very rarely stop, let alone in silence and stillness. I truly believe that we owe it not only to history but to the future, to pause and reflect for those two minutes – perhaps more now than ever.

The power of the two-minute silence is that it is based in humanity. It is time to reflect on what we owe all the men and women, past and present, who have helped shape our country both in times of war and times of peace. They lived through experiences we can never imagine; recognizing this and showing our gratitude is the least we can do.

Here are a few things that you can do, not only to help you stop for those few minutes but also encourage others to do the same.

A Reminder to Remember
Set an alarm/reminder on your mobile or computer. When we get busy, time can rush past. Setting the reminder will ensure you know to stop what you’re doing.

In the Office

Set the tone and expectations: send out a communication, first thing tomorrow morning, reminding everyone to stop for those few minutes at 11:00am, and encourage everyone to participate.

During Meetings
Start late: If you have a meeting set for 11:00, change the start time to 11:05 and let attendees know why.
Start early: Set the start time for 10:50 so that everyone is in the room and can observe together; there is enormous power in the silence of a group.
If your meeting runs over 11:00am, then put that two-minute observation in the agenda; let everyone know at the start that this will happen, set a reminder on your telephone and make sure to stop.

At Home
Many of us work from home. Even if you are on your own I encourage you to stop for those two minutes. No just being silent but actually stopping, being still and reflecting.
If you are home with children this is not only a good opportunity to instill the importance of stopping, reflecting and respecting, but also to talk about what has happened in our collective past and what we want for the future.

Remembrance Day Ceremonies
If you have the opportunity, I encourage you to attend a local Remembrance Day ceremony. There is nothing more powerful than observing this day together.

I encourage you to find a way to stop, if possible, but however you chose to spend those two minutes, please keep in mind others around you.

Now, more than ever, these words ring out to me: Lest We Forget."


*With many thanks to Curtis Wilson for graciously allowing the use his beautiful illustration.
Hilary Robinson is the Senior Trainer and Owner ofPolished Professionals in Toronto, Canada. With her background, spent running events for Prime Ministers, CEOs and academics (in the UK and Canada), one might think that she’s all about following the rules. However, she prefers to train people to understand their parameters, what it means to follow them, what advantages there are in knowing how and when to bend them, and the value in using good manners to put others at ease. With 20 years working worldwide in events and communications, Hilary believes manners and courtesy are not only powerful communication tools but the foundations on which self-confidence and success grow.


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Collegiate Etiquette Lesson

 College students nationwide, following a Harvard undergrad’s $10 bet, set off a sensation across the U.S. in 1939 — The moronic craze of swallowing live goldfish.



According to an Associated Press release, a Chinese student at the University of Michigan, who memorized phrases from an etiquette book, had his first opportunity to try them out at a reception given by University President, Alexander Ruthven. When a cup of tea was handed to him, he solemnly responded: "Thank you, sir, or madam, as the case may be." — As reported in The Express, October 1939

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Women, Tobacco and Etiquette

Dude! Where's your dudeen? — It is part of the etiquette of the "road." 


The woman smoker, far from being a result of a decadent civilization, is merely a survival of a rougher and harder life. Even today, the women who live the hardest lives compatible with twentieth century civilization smoke incessantly. Go into any tramps' lodging house and you will find not only old and young women, but bits of girls scarcely in their teens puffing contentedly, not at cigarettes, but clay pipes charged with black twist tobacco. It is part of the etiquette of the "road" for the men after they have vigorously puffed at their "dudeens" to hand them to the woman tramps who have no supply. — London Chronicle, 1910

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia Etiquette Encyclopedia

Gilded Age Tobacco Etiquette

The demoiselles of the Moulin Rouge and the Casino are not permitted to smoke in those temples of light amusement, and the girls of the boulevard do not smoke in the cafés.
Etiquette in Public
With regard to etiquette in the use of tobacco in public places there is not much to say, as smoke is as free as air. This is in accordance with the universal European custom. Men smoke in restaurants, cafés and at most of the hotel tables. Women do not smoke publicly. Whether or not they smoke in private is a matter for each man's experience.

I have never seen a French lady smoke. Once, in Dresden, I saw a married lady puff a cigarette after dinner in a fashionable restaurant; and once I saw two English girls, seemingly of the upper middle class, smoking cigarettes in a railroad carriage, where they were alone. Here my knowledge ends.

The demoiselles of the Moulin Rouge and the Casino are not permitted to smoke in those temples of light amusement, and the girls of the boulevard do not smoke in the cafés. At the Café Anglais, which is still nearly as chic as ever, smoking is not permitted until after eight p.m. But rules like these are resented and scarcely ever enforced. —Paris Correspondent, The Washington Star, 1892

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia Etiquette Encyclopedia

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Etiquette—A Road to Success

One does not need a lavish wardrobe, along with a Pygmalion or Svengali, to feel comfortably confident and fit in socially. One need only to learn the acceptable manners, or etiquette, for any given time, occasion or place.

“Etiquette teaches you how to be gentle, calm, patient. It tells you how to be at ease among strangers. It tells you how to cultivate grace, poise, self-confidence. Not only does it tell you how, but it gives you poise and self-confidence. By teaching you the right thing to do at the right time, it eliminates all possibility of mistakes—and hence all embarrassment and awkwardness vanish.

The existence of these fixed social laws, these little rules of etiquette, makes it easy for the man and woman who have not been bred in the best society, to master the knowledge which will enable them to enter that society and mingle with the most highly cultivated people without feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable. It tears down the barriers between the wealthy and the poor, between the educated and the ignorant. By knowing what to do and say and write and wear on all occasions, under all conditions, any man or woman can enter any society and mingle with any people. 

The old proverb might well be changed to read, "Culture makes the whole world kin!" Of course if a man suddenly became wealthy and he wished to enter the highest society, his wealth might serve as an opening. But he would soon find that money was not enough—that he needed manners. He might mingle with society for years, slowly acquiring the correct table manners, the correct mode of address, the correct manner of making introductions, the correct way to conduct himself at all times, in all places. But it would take many years before the rough edges of his previous uncultivated manners were rubbed away. 

Instead of waiting for years of contact with cultured people to bring him the correct manners befitting a man of wealth, he need only learn at once from a dependable authority the etiquette of society, the good form that has been crystallized into rules after years of social intercourse. It is the easiest road to social success.” – Lillian Eichler's “Book of Etiquette / Volume I” 

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Friday, November 4, 2016

Edwardian Era Dress Etiquette

Flowers and frills are out of place in an office or about the streets in the morning. A tailored coat and skirt, with a plain hat and a neat shirt blouse always look well and convey the impression that you are a good woman of business.

The Etiquette of Dress

"I DON'T know what to put on for this occasion. I wish I knew what the other people will be wearing!” says many a puzzled girl as she overhauls her wardrobe with a view to making herself look as nice as possible for some social or business event. 

For dinner at a private house it is correct to wear evening dress, unless your hostess has given you a hint to the contrary. Perhaps she has said in her invitation, "Don’t dress,” and in that case you will wear a pretty, light blouse, or a dainty afternoon frock. But if she has said nothing, you should wear evening dress and gloves, unless you happen to know that the dinner is quite a family matter, in which case the gloves may be dispensed with. 

For a theater or concert, you should wear a stylish gown, cut high or low, as you wish, an evening cloak, gloves and no hat. Hats are occasionally worn in theaters, but unless they are very elaborate ones, they do not look well, and in any case they are apt to prove troublesome. The same costume is correct for a bridge party, an evening "at home” or a dinner at a restaurant. 

For a dance, wear the prettiest low-necked evening dress that you possess, with jewels or flowers. For a wedding an up-to-date afternoon toilette, with a long skirt and a pretty hat, is the correct thing. The same costume is correct for an afternoon "at home,” an afternoon bridge party or a garden party. For a call, a nice walking suit looks best. A rather elaborate coat and skirt, with a stylish hat and a dainty blouse, is always safe to choose. When paying a first call be particular about your dress or your hostess, who does not know you, is likely to think that you regard her as unworthy of consideration. 

For a morning call or business interview let all your dress be as neat and plain as possible. Flowers and frills are out of place in an office or about the streets in the morning. A tailored coat and skirt, with a plain hat and a neat shirt blouse always look well and convey the impression that you are a good woman of business. — Los Angeles Herald, 1911

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Etiquette, Manners and Character

A favor may be performed so grudgingly as to prevent any feeling of obligation, or it may be refused so courteously as to awaken more kindly feelings than if it had been ungraciously granted.


Manners Are an Index of Character

A rude person, though well meaning, is avoided by all. Manners, in fact, are minor morals; and a rude person is often assumed to be a bad person. The manner in which a person says or does a thing, furnishes a better index of his character than what he does or says, for it is by the incidental expression given to his thoughts and feelings, by his looks, tones and gestures, rather than by his words and deeds, that we prefer to judge him, for the reason that the former are involuntary. 

The manner in which a favor is granted or a kindness done, often affects us more than the deed itself. The deed may have been prompted by vanity, pride, or some selfish motive or interest; the warmth or coldness with which the person who has done it speaks to you, or grasps your hand, is less likely to deceive. The manner of doing any thing, it has been truly said, is that which stamps its life and character on any action. A favor may be performed so grudgingly as to prevent any feeling of obligation, or it may be refused so courteously as to awaken more kindly feelings than if it had been ungraciously granted. — Our Deportment, 1881

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Driving Etiquette Affects Accident Stats

On the road, "stripped of the varnish of modern culture, the primal instincts reveal themselves." accccording to car dealer.

Road Courtesy is Asked by Chandler Manager — Says Real Instinct Reveals Man Behind Wheel

"The courtesy of the road” — that's where the true gentleman reveals himself." So declares Ron Smith, sales manager of the Earl V. Armstrong, Inc., local distributer for the Chandler car. "Nowhere does the exemplification of the Golden Rule count for more than on the highways,” he contends. 

"Here, stripped of the varnish of modern culture, the primal instincts reveal themselves. "If every man who drove would treat fellow motorists as he does guests in the home or office, we would see the frightful toll of auto accidents cut in half."

Accident Analysis

"Analysis of the majority of accidents shows that some one disregarded traffic rules and courtesies, some one wanted to ’beat the other fellow,' or worse still, some one was a 'road hog' and tried to monopolize the whole landscape. It is indeed a real and rare treat to meet one of the altogether too few genial, courteous drivers. I got to a busy street intersection the other day just as a kind-faced, elderly gentleman reached it from the otherside. He really had the right of way, but instead of jamming on power and glowering at me, he smiled genially and with a wave of his hand, signaled me to go on."


Kindly Act

“It was a little thing, of course, but do you know that kindly act and that smile started the day right for me, and left me thinking human folks weren’t so bad after all. The strangest part of the whole thing, is that the worst tyrants of the wheel are often business men of superior education, who practice extreme courtesy in their daily pursuits and wouldn't think of committing a breach of etiquette in the social world. The same simple rules apply in the motor world as In business or social life. Simply think of the other fellow first, and accord him every consideration possible. Try it and you'll find it pays big in motor satisfaction." – Los Angeles Herald, 1917



Etiquette Enthusiast Maura J Graber is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia