Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Once Common Visiting Card

Today I was on designing my new personal card and I was reminded of it's great forefather, The Visiting Card. The Visiting Card was the gentleman's version of the business card. When you went to visit upon a member of a household, usually a lady, you handed it to the butler or the person who answered the door. You have probably seen the Visiting Card in an old movie when a male character handed a small card to a butler and he carried it to his employer on a small silver tray. The head of the household would read the card and determine whether to tell the butler to show the character in. If the person our male character wanted to see was not home at that time the butler would give to his boss so they would be aware of who called upon them while they were out. In real life gentlemen would leave it with a parent to notify their young lady who had came to see them while they were out or a house wife to give to their husband for the same reason.

There was a whole ocean of etiquette pertaining to The Visiting Card. Size and color were specific to gender and age and how a person presented their name among others. If you're interested in learning all these rules you can buy a copy Emily Post's Etiquette. I would recommend trying to get the oldest copy possible because I'm not aware if the new copies even mention The Visiting Card. My copy was written before and after WWII and it speaks as if The Visiting Card is almost extinct.

A whole host of reasons have done away with The Visiting Card first and foremost the telephone. People could call to find out if the individual was available.

The business card has managed to keep The Visiting Card alive and well for obvious reasons. I use what I call The Personal Card for much the same way The Visiting Card was used. I hand it out to people I meet so they will have a ready copy of my phone number and email address. It may seem like an outdated concept in the time of Blackberries but I repeatedly recieve compliments about my preparedness.

Well I hope I've inspired a few of you out there to take up the tradition of the personal card, the descendent of the late,great Visiting Card. Jerry

No comments:

Post a Comment