“Street Car etiquette is developing in so many directions just now, that one must be prepared for anything... It occurred to me that this was probably the very latest development.” 1899 – (Above) A horse drawn street car, from 20 years earlier than this article. By 1899, most street cars were motorized in the US, but few had any heat in them during cold weather, so hay or carpets were put down on the floors to make riders more comfortable, but the drivers continued to have no protection from the elements.
Before Chivalry Died, It Was Obviously Ailing
“An Unexpected Courtesy”
“I was returning home with a small traveling bag in my hands,” says the woman, “and as it chanced to be just at the rush hours and the cars crowded, of course, I did not have a seat. But I was standing beside a gentlemanly young man who had a seat, and who, I soon saw, was also possessed of a kind heart.” ‘Can’t I hold your bag for you?’ he asked, politely, raising his hat. “I own I was a little surprised at first, but Street Car etiquette is developing in so many directions just now, that one must be prepared for anything. For a moment, I hardly knew what to say, and then, as it occurred to me that this was probably the very latest development, and it would not be well to check any one’s courteous inclinations, I thanked the young man, handed him my bag, which he held and sat until I reached my destination, while I stood in front of him.”—New York Times, 1899
Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia