Saturday, April 11, 2020

1930's Calling Card Etiquette

Leaving one's calling card was the best way to ensure a return call. Calling cards were the forerunners to today's business cards.

Every person, when old enough to take part in the social life of the community, needs a visiting card. Such cards are engraved, not printed, and bear the name of the man or woman with the title Mr. Mrs. or Miss. 

Pet names are never used, and usually the full name appears on the card, although a man who has a name which he dislikes or prefers not to use, may elect to have an initial on his card. His wife would use the same form.

It is customary to have one's address on a visiting card, but for the people who live in small towns or the country, it would not be necessary and perhaps not even possible. People living in cities sometimes omit the address also, perhaps because they do not regard their address as permanent.

Husbands and wives have, in addition to their individual cards, a joint one for use in visiting and sending presents. This card is somewhat larger than the wife's card, which may be larger than that of her unmarried daughter or maybe the same size. There are several standard sizes for a woman's card to suit personal preference and the length of the name. A man's card is much smaller than a woman's. Any good stationer has samples showing correct sizes and styles of engraving.

A widow continues to use her husband's Christian name on her cards, and letters to her should be addressed in the same way — that is, "Mrs. John Taylor"; not "Mrs. Barbara Taylor." Socially, a woman never uses "Mrs." before her Christian name, although she may in business. 

A divorced woman customarily uses her maiden surname with her married name, as "Mrs. Smith Robinson." "Senior" should not be used after a name, either on a card or envelope for men. — Etiquette for To-Day, 1939

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

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