Thursday, July 25, 2024

Etiquette for Business Women, 1924

‘… This ability to be interested in everything, to be ignorant of the meaning of the word “boredom” was one of the strongest and most alive traits in the personality of Theodore Roosevelt, and it was one of the means by which he impressed every one who met him with his unfailing courtesy. He was by nature one of the most courteous of men, and his wide experience and training made him “one of the greatest masters of etiquette.”’ ~ Whenever speaking of etiquette, another Roosevelt always comes to mind… Eleanor Roosevelt. Not only did she write a terrific book of etiquette and numerous etiquette articles and news columns, but she presided over the White House as First Lady during a time when so many women left their homes and went to work in factories to help the war effort during WWII. – Public domain image of Eleanore Roosevelt

Courtesy an Important Part of Personality

Personality is a word that has come into wide usage within recent years, but no one seems to be able to define it satisfactorily. We know what it means and we instantly recognize the quality when we meet some one who possesses it; but there are two sorts of personality. There is the kind that wins us, that draws us irresistibly to its possessor, and there is the kind that may be so sharply accented that we are repelled instantly. In both of these, courtesy, or the lack of it, plays an important part. It is just by taking a little thought, by learning the rules of the game as courteously played, that we can go far toward winning the desirable kind of personality if we are not so fortunate as to have been endowed with it in the beginning.

The prime ingredient of true courtesy is unselfishness, though there are many persons with charming and courteous manners who are paragons of selfishness at heart. Nevertheless, true courtesy calls for at least a momentary 
forgetfulness of self, for thought for others and for expression of that thought by outward deed and manner. We shall, of course, differ from each other in that expression according to our different individualities, and this is to be desired. A stereotyped manner or an exactly similar method of being courteous would make the world a drearily monotonous place in which to live and it would not be long before we should all be seized with a desire to be as discourteous as possible, if only to break this monotony.

Limiting One's Mental Outlook

To be courteous means also to be kind. It is only courteous to assume an attitude of interest when another is talking, even if one have no real interest in the subject under discussion. This considerate attention will create a good impression, will add to the effect of one’s personality and will help to develop a characteristic essential for success. And after all, when one finds it difficult to be interested in something entirely apart from his own affairs, or when one is easily “bored,” he at once establishes limits to his mental outlook and starts the formation of a habit that is certain to cut him off from much future enjoyment in life. This ability to be interested in everything, to be ignorant of the meaning of the word “boredom” was one of the strongest and most alive traits in the personality of Theodore Roosevelt, and it was one of the means by which he impressed every one who met him with his unfailing courtesy. He was by nature one of the most courteous of men, and his wide experience and training made him “one of the greatest masters of etiquette.”

This courteous attitude is essential in the daily intercourse with one’s officemates. It is difficult enough to live one’s business days harmoniously with the same group of men and women without friction; but it is infinitely more difficult to do so if each one selfishly lives for his own impulses and desires. Courtesy plays a big part here in smoothing the rough places, in making the necessary contacts as pleasant as possible and in preventing much unhappiness and dissatisfaction. – By Ida White Parker, 1924


đŸœ️Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Etiquette for Hostess Gifts

In visiting friends for several days, should one upon one’s return, send a gift to the hostess? 
Filed Under “Standard Rules of Etiquette” 

Question: In visiting friends for several days, should one upon one’s return, send a gift to the hostess? 
Answer: While it is not necessary to send a gift to one's hostess, it is a gracious thing to do and is always appreciated. If one is a close friend of hostess, a gift may be taken when one goes on the visit, otherwise it is sent upon one's return. 
In any event, the house guest should send a “bread and butter” letter of gratitude and appreciation for his visit immediately upon his return from a house party. The letter itself may be very short but it must never be ignored nor must it be put off. Prompt acknowledgement of a visit is one of the essentials of etiquette. – Imperial Valley Press, 1931


 đŸœEtiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Tuesday, July 23, 2024

A Bone Egg Spoon?

While it’s true that silver spoons could leave a metallic taste in the mouth when mixed with eggs, there was always a gilded option. These two gilded sterling eggs spoons had been available for many years, however, they were very pricey. Bone egg spoons, on the other hand, at eight cents each were quite reasonable for the time period. — Pictured above are two European egg toppers, or egg cutters, an 
Ivy pattern, Gorham gilded sterling egg spoon, a Whiting sterling egg spoon with a gilded, engraved bowl in the Lily of the Valley pattern and a lovely, Herend egg cup. 
I am indebted to a Scotch friend for something that has become well-nigh indispensable to me-my EGG-SPOON. It is made of bone and was brought to me from Scotland. Its advantages are, first, that one gets no taste of metal in eating eggs, as is the case with a silver spoon; second, that there is no discolored silver to be cleaned afterward. Since it was given to me, I have bought others for my family at one of the New York department stores for eight cents each, so they are within the reach of anyone who is interested. - B. F. S., New Jersey in Good Housekeeping, 1912


đŸœEtiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia


Monday, July 22, 2024

Gilded Age Dinner Giving

In an age of questionable kitchen appliances it was often difficult to time meals, thus the best cooks and chefs were in high demand. — “It is very rude to keep other guests waiting for you, and to disturb the serenity of the hostess by delaying her dinner, thereby impairing the quality of the cooked viands.” 
In giving a dinner party it is very essential to know how many guests one is going to entertain. It is a serious inconvenience to have any doubt on the subject. Invitations are usually sent out in the following form:
The four capital letters constitute the initials of four French words, meaning "Answer if you please" (Respondez S'il vous plait). The person thus invited must not fail to reply at once, sending a messenger to the door with the note. It is considered impolite to send it by post, and then you are never certain that it will be received. 

If the person invited has any doubt about being able to attend the dinner at the time stated, he should decline the invitation at once. He should be positive one way or the other, not delaying sending the answer more than one day.

A prompt and decided answer declining, enables Mrs. Jones to supply the place with some other person, thereby preventing a vacant chair at the table. The same rule is applicable to a "German," as a well-bred hostess will not invite more than her house will comfort ably accommodate, and it is important for her to know at once if you intend to accept or decline her invitation.

On the appointed day of the dinner, the guest should arrive at the house ten or fifteen minutes before the appointed hour for dinner; avoid arriving too early, but never be too late. It is very rude to keep other guests waiting for you, and to disturb the serenity of the hostess by delaying her dinner, thereby impairing the quality of the cooked viands. 

She should not be expected to wait more than ten of fifteen minutes for any one. If an engagement makes a very early departure from a dinner party or other entertainment imperative, a guest should mention the fact to the hostess beforehand, and make his departure without leave taking, and unobserved. if possible, so as not to suggest the departure of others.

When the guests are assembled in the drawing room, the host or hostess can quietly intimate to each gentleman the lady he will take to the dining room, and how to find his place at the table. When the dinner is announced, the host should lead the way with the lady guest of honor, the hostess being the last to leave the drawing room.— From “Housekeeping and Dinner Giving in Kansas City,” Mrs. Willis, 1887


  đŸœEtiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Sunday, July 21, 2024

The Etiquette of Serving Breakfast

A Housekeeper’s Manual from the Gilded Age
  

HOW TO PREPARE AND SERVE BREAKFAST

When we first began to talk of editing this book, a gentleman said to me, "If you will tell how to cook a steak properly, that receipt alone will be worth the price of the book." To the old adage, "Time and tide wait for no man," I have added "my breakfast table." I do not think that gentleman will ever eat a nicely cooked steak in his own house, for he is never ready to sit down to the table when breakfast is served.

We will have the bill of fare to consist of broiled beefsteak, Saratoga potatoes, scrambled eggs, yeast powder biscuit, tea and coffee (see my receipts for preparing all of these dishes). After the servant has started her fire she sets the table, takes the plates to the kitchen to be warmed (in the winter), takes the dishes in which the breakfast is to be served to the kitchen; puts the skillet on the stove to get hot to fry the potatoes in; makes biscuits and puts them in three pans and sets them aside; cooks the Saratoga potatoes and sets them on the hot water reservoir to keep warm; breaks the eggs into a bowl and seasons them; puts the coffee on to boil. 

I have a regular hour for breakfast, but sometimes we might not be ready when it was announced, so I have a speaking tube to the kitchen, and I call to the cook to serve breakfast; that means to put the steak on to broil, and and all the household know that they have twenty minutes to get ready for breakfast. 

She puts the tea to steep, and the steak on to cook; the skillet or gridiron must have been placed on the back of the stove, to get hot before this time. You will readily see that the cook can follow one of my directions for broiling a steak, i. e., never to leave it until it is done. During the last three minutes the steak is cooking she can fill the teapot and pour it into the pot in which it is to be served; pour off the coffee; put the first pan of biscuits in to bake, just before filling the teapot. 

She now puts the tea, coffee, potatoes and steak on the table (see my rules for serving, as well as preparing these dishes), and announces break- fast; then puts another pan of biscuits in the stove, cooks the eggs, and brings them to the table.

By putting the pans of biscuits in the oven at different times, they can be served hot and freshly baked Now, my dear young housekeepers, you can see that it is just as easy to have a meal freshly cooked as to have it spoiled by mismanagement on your part, as well as the cook's. By being careful to observe how long it requires to properly cook an article, and what can be set aside to be kept warm, and what must be served as soon as cooked, you can always have your dishes in perfection.

If you have a first course of fruit or oatmeal, some of the dishes can be prepared while that is being served. Melons, oranges, and all kinds of fruits, should be served at breakfast. In their season, sliced tomatoes, with a mayonaise dressing, or plain vinegar, is a refreshing breakfast dish. A number of nice breakfast dishes may be found in receipts for entrĂ©es. — From “
Housekeeping and Dinner Giving in Kansas City,” Mrs. Willis, 1887



đŸœEtiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Chaperones and Eiquette for Olympics



Did the male athletes have chaperones in 1932? No… 
DALLAS, Aug. 9 (AP). Mildred “Babe” Didrikson, who established new world records in the 80-meter hurdles and the javelin throw at the Olympics, will return home here Thursday for probably the greatest welcome ever extended a Dallas athlete. Office workers in the city's skyscrapers have been collecting ticker tape all week to shower on her. ~ Newspaper clipping from 1932

At the 1932 Olympic Games, Chaperones and Trainers Watch the Girl Athletes

United Press Special Correspondent, Los Angeles, Aug. 5.—The team of Hall and Hall gave the team of Didrikson and Mac Combs a close race to the tape in the 80 meter hurdles for ladies in the 1932 Olympics. Babe Didrikson led her teammate, Evelyn Hall, by inches in the race which set a new world’s record of 11.7 seconds. 

But sharing closely in the first and second places with the two American girls were a husband and a coach. "I’ve always been coached by M. J. Mac Combs,” said Babe. “I pick out what I want to do and he shows me how to do it." Close to home is Evelyn Hall’s inspiration. "Leonard, my husband, started me in my track work and he’s coached me in the hurdles. It's really on account of him I was able to win.” 

The girls aren’t playing lone hands out on the stadium track and in the fencing armory. Coaches and chaperones are jealously guarding the athletes. Mrs. Hiroko Shiramaya, chaperone for the Japanese swimming team, feels almost like a mother to her Mandarin girls. "Every night I go through all their rooms after they’ve gone to bed,” she said. “They aren’t used to the weather here and throw their covers off. I go around twice each night to get them all tucked in.” 

Mrs. Shiramaya gets pretty tired taking care of her brood, but she likes it. “They’re nice girls and are having lots of fun in the hotel with the other athletes. For two weeks before they came to this country they went to a Y. W. C. A. in Japan where they learned table manners and etiquette of this country.” 

Mrs. Ellen Osiier, Denmark fencer and Olympic champion in 1920, has given up the chance for personal glory to chaperone the Danish team and officiate in the fencing matches. "Danish girls aren’t thinking much about anything except competing while the games are going on. Afterwards we will stay here until the games are over, then go home by way of San Francisco.” 

If anyone tries to spoil the athletic ability of Babe Didrikson or the rest of the American track team he must answer to Fred L. Steers. “These girls are just kids and don’t know what it’s all about — all this ballyhoo going on around them. They get along fine on the track and field but back here in the hotel with everyone making heroines out of them, they’re liable to hurt their own chances of winning.” 

P. Grobbelaar didn’t bring Marjorie Clark all the way from South Africa to have her spoil her chances of doing the best she can in the Olympics. So he keeps her from talking to outsiders on her track work. Mrs. Theodore Wright keeps Thelma Kench, sprinter, in tow to keep her from getting homesick for New Zealand. Helene Mayer, German fencer, is shadowed by Mrs. B. A. Mayer of Whittier, with whom she is going to stay between Olympic games and the opening of Scripps college. – By Mary Alice Parent, 1932


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

Friday, July 19, 2024

Etiquette and Customs of Samoa

Eating commences when indicated, and using hands is common, though cutlery is often provided. Samoa has a delicious ‘natural’ cuisine, so be inquisitive and try everything. This is a considered a sign of great respect.

Living in Australia you get to meet many people from the Pacific Islands, such as Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. Each island has its own languages and they are uniquely different from the other. a strong tribal and familial culture with a deep appreciation for a creator.

In the early 18th century, European contact began with Dutch and French explorers making their initial visits to Samoa. However, in the 1830s , it was the arrival of missionaries that significantly impacted Samoan society. They introduced Christianity, which quickly integrated with traditional beliefs, brought in a new way of dressing, foods and sadly diseases. 

Samoa has had its fair share of colonialising, in the late 19th century, leading to the islands being divided between Germany (and for a short while called ‘German Samoa’ yes,you heard that right!) and the United States. In 1962, Western Samoa gained independence, becoming the first Polynesian nation to do so, while American Samoa remains an unincorporated territory of the United States.

What did I see and learn from the Samoan people? I found them a very respectful, easy-going people who are known for their warmth, hospitality, and strong sense of community. Central to Samoan identity is the concept of "fa'a Samoa" or "the Samoan way," which emphasises family, respect, and social responsibility. You will find that the extended family or "aiga," where multiple generations live together, is a traditional lifestyle is evident in sharing resources and responsibilities. 

Family elders are held in very high esteem in the Samoan community, therefore leadership within these communities can be guided by a chiefly system. Samoa also has a royal family who is ruled by four major title holders – the Tupua Tamasese, Malietoa, Mata'afa, and Tuimaleali'ifano families.

On a Sunday, I found myself amazed as I watched Samoans walking to church in traditional dress, Bibles in hand, with distant smoke rising from backyard umus. Early mornings often see Samoan families preparing food in underground ovens for post-church feasts. Such a contrast from Australia. If fortunate enough to be invited to a Samoan family gathering, consider these pointers. 
  • Shoes are removed before entering homes and once inside greet everyone, starting with the eldest. If people are sitting, never stand to say hello, you will need to lower yourself to their level. 
  • You’ll be offered the best floor mat; sit cross-legged or with legs tucked, but feel free to stretch modestly if needed.
  • Conversations should be relaxed yet formal, with slow, conversational speech and maintained eye contact. Avoid staring.
  • Food is placed in the middle of the room, and meals typically begin with prayers, followed by the elders eating first. Eating commences when indicated, and using hands is common, though cutlery is often provided. 
  • Samoa has a delicious ‘natural’ cuisine, so be inquisitive and try everything. This is considered an important sign of respect. 
  • Dishes often include pork, chicken, whole fish, lamb and beef, and local produce like breadfruit, taro, tapioca, green bananas, rice, bread and tropical fruits. Meats and vegetables are frequently cooked in umus, especially on Sundays and special occasions. 
  • Samoa is also known for cocoa, which can be purchased at markets or roadside stalls. Grated cocoa mixed with sugar and milk creates "koko Samoa."
I was excited to have the opportunity to experience life with a Samoan family and immerse myself in their etiquette, customs and culture. It was a truly rewarding experience and I’d love to make a return visit someday.


For many years, Etiquipedia contributor, Elizabeth Soos, has had a keen interest in cultural customs. With her European background and extensive travel, Soos developed an interest in the many forms of respect and cultural expectations in the countries she has visited. With her 20 years’ experience in customer service within private international companies based in Australia, and her lifetime interest in manners and research, she decided to branch out into the field of etiquette and deportment. Through her self-directed studies and by completing the Train-The-Trainer’s course offered by Emma Dupont’s School of Etiquette in London and by Guillaume Rue de Bernadac at Academie de Bernadac based in Paris and Shanghai, she founded Auersmont School of Etiquette. Elizabeth is currently traveling throughout India and brushing up on her Hindi.


 đŸœEtiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Thursday, July 18, 2024

1955 Etiquette Book for Family Living

Etiquette rules are designed to make life simpler and more pleasant, after all, and life around the house could stand a little of both. Perhaps it is impossible for most husbands to understand everything about their wives.” — Amy Vanderbilt 


Manners for Family Living Told in New Etiquette Book

NEW YORK (UP) People used to refer to etiquette books
when there was a question about forks or formal invitations, but that's the least of a modern book on manners. Husband grouchy when he gets up in the morning? Consult the etiquette book.

Under the heading, “The Agreeable Husband,” Miss Vanderbilt writes that if a man must be grouchy before coffee in the morning, he should be sure the family understands that there is nothing personal about it.

She also lists the following rules for agreeable husbands:
  • The agreeable husband conducts himself at the table exactly as if guests were present. 
  • He is clean, combed and generally presentable... 
  • He should limit his smoking to the end of the meal, using an ash tray instead of dishes as ash receptacles....
  • “No well-brought-up husband should ever bring anyone except a most intimate friend home to dinner without sufficient warning to his wife.”
There is also a section on agreeable wives, with emphasis on personal good grooming and tidy habits around the house. “Etiquette rules are designed to make life simpler and more pleasant, after all, and life around the house could stand a little of both. Perhaps it is impossible for most husbands to understand everything about their wives.” — By Elizabeth Toomey, 1955


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