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The 1870s:

April 2024
1min read

“Ceremonious Card Leaving Is Obligatory”

There are established rules which regulate visiting, the use of cards, the leaving or sending of cards, and when these rules are clearly understood and faithfully followed there is a feeling of satisfaction which relieves the conscience.

Ceremonious card leaving is obligatory after receiving invitations to a wedding reception, a dinner, luncheon, card party, or an evening entertainment, the call to be made and cards left within a week after the event and whether one has accepted or not.

A card represents its owner and means a visit, or some courtesy, and women do not call on men or send cards to them; their cards are for the women of a household.

It is well understood that a married woman leaves her husband’s cards with her own—one of her own cards for each lady in a family and one each of her husband’s cards for each lady and one for the man of the family. If there are daughters in the household one card of her husband’s may include them. If she has a grown son she may leave two of his cards. These formalities are for the first call of the season. She need not leave her husband’s cards in future calls during the year unless he has been the recipient of invitations, and she may allow a son to attend to his own future calls. The leaving of her husband’s cards is a custom, as he is not supposed to have leisure for calling and is exempt from such duties, but his existence is thus recognized socially.

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