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Donna
03-21-2006, 11:22 PM
hello All,

I would like any information on visiting cards. I would like to try to make some for myself and my group. Thank you .

Donna in Williamsburg

Miss L
03-22-2006, 12:43 AM
Donna,

Recently I had the same question, and was quite fortunate to receive a comprehensive response from Mrs. Mescher
(http://www.raggedsoldier.com - check out Virginia's Veranda). I trust (hope?) she won't mind my passing her words of wisdom along....

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The calling cards of our period were usually plain white, with the woman's being larger 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches and the men's being the size of today's business cards. If there was any decoration, it would have been a narrow border of silver or gold. Cards used during the mourning period had a black border that was wide to begin with and then became more narrow as the mourning lightened. The whiter the paper, the more expensive. The pastel colored cards with small line drawings came in the late 1870's. I don't think the cards with the colored borders were ever used as calling cards, even though they are beautiful. I think that it is just something that has developed in recent years as "victorian" stuff.

"Beadle's Dime Book of Practical Etiquette" (1860) says of calling or visiting cards, "Sometimes it is glazed, sometimes not; sometimes a large one, sometimes a small one; sometimes with silvered edges, sometimes with golden border; sometimes with printed inscription, sometimes engraved, sometimes written in pencil. Any person designing to get up a set of visiting cards should consult a good engraver..... The usual form for visiting cards, is simply the name, no address being given, as that belongs to business.

From "The Gentleman's Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness" by Cecil B. Hartley (1860) "A card should have nothing written upon it but your name and address...Never use a card that is ornamented in any way, whether by a fancy border, painted corners, or embossing. Let it be perfectly plain, tinted if you like, in color, but without ornamentation and have your name written or printed in the middle, your address, in smaller characters, in the lower left hand corner."

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Mrs. Mescher did say that she found in her research that modern business card size can also be used for period ladies cards.

You can easily make your own with your home computer - any business supply place will sell 'do it yourself' business card stock (like Avery). My card simply has my name centered on it, in 'period' script. Mrs. Mescher did have one other excellent recommendation. She put her address, phone and email address on clear address labels and afixed them to the back of some of her cards. I'd recommend this highly, since repetitively scribbling your email address on the back of cards you're handing out at a symposium or function leaves you with writer's cramp!

I hope this has been of use, and I'm sure that before long someone else will 'chime in' with additional information.

vmescher
03-22-2006, 10:02 AM
Mrs. Mescher did say that she found in her research that modern business card size can also be used for period ladies cards.

Several years ago, we had a comprehensive article on calling cards in the Visitor's showcase on www.raggedsoldier.com but, at that tiime, we were not archiving the VS articles. I do plan at sometime in the future to do an update on calling cards in Virginia's Veranda. I have been compiling information and quotes from various etiquette books on visiting cards which I will include in the article. I realize that doesn't help you right now.

Miss L. answered your question pretty well. It is best and easiest to go with the plain, white business cards, using your computer. Chose a readable, period script and center it on the card. As Miss L mentioned, I do put my address, et al on clear address labels and apply them to the back, which is not period but it does save time. I also have some plain ones with just my name done up for first person situations.

The correct name should be Mrs. (your husband's name). The sizes differed according to the year and the author of the book but modern business cards will do just fine. The main things to remember is plain white, a readable script, just your name. The colored and decorated cards came later in the 19th century.

amity
03-22-2006, 06:18 PM
What would be some fonts that would be appropriate to the period?

vmescher
03-23-2006, 09:31 AM
What would be some fonts that would be appropriate to the period?

I used the True Type Quincy font in 15 point. It is readable and still is a period style font that is not too fancy.

LadyReb
03-25-2006, 04:42 PM
If you want to put more information on the back, you can turn the cards over and send them thru the printer again instead of putting the clear labels on the back.

Donna
03-27-2006, 12:01 AM
oh thanks loads and bunches all!
now my only problems is to find the TRue type Quincy!
I dont have it on this computer and the other one well it
bit the dust I think.

vmescher
03-27-2006, 03:42 PM
oh thanks loads and bunches all!
now my only problems is to find the TRue type Quincy!
I dont have it on this computer and the other one well it
bit the dust I think.

Donna,

I just found a script that was similar to a readable to English Roundhand but not to fancy. Check out Spencerian scripts and find something that is similar but make sure that it is a fairly simple script.

Starbuck
04-06-2006, 10:16 AM
Thanks for the info! I've always wondered about calling cards. What was the proper etiquett in the use of calling cards? Why don't we use them today?

Nathan Anderson

vmescher
04-06-2006, 01:44 PM
Thanks for the info! I've always wondered about calling cards. What was the proper etiquett in the use of calling cards? Why don't we use them today?

Nathan Anderson

Nathan,

I've been researching the use of visiting cards and have too muc info to put it all here. I'll be doing an article in Virginia's Veranda on our webpage in the near future so stay tuned.

I suppose that the reason that we don't use them today is that we seldom do formal visits now but if you read modern etiquette books, you will see mention of them for proper etiquette of visiting. In my Emily Post that was a wedding gift, there was a section on visiting cards.