Proper etiquette was very important in Samantha Parkington’s era. High society in 1904 paid very close attention to how you dressed, walked, talked, ate, moved, even smiled!
Even at a young age, Samantha was expected to behave like a proper lady. That meant no slouching, no burping, no running around, no getting dirty, no doing her own chores, and certainly no making a spectacle of herself-even though she didn’t exactly know what a spectacle was.
Before Telephone. Before iPhone.
One of the most important displays of etiquette was paying calls. “Calls” were what visits were named back then. They were a sign of respect to the lady of the house. During the call, the hostess would serve tea and cakes and engage her guests in small conversation, such as the weather or personal bits of news. They never spoke of health, money, clothing or politics.
Calls were so important, ladies set aside a certain day of the week to receive them! They even kept track of calls they had paid, calls they had received, and calls they owed to other ladies, like people kept track of their bills and tabs. Not paying a call to someone in a long time would be considered snubbing, which was considered the worst kind of insult in Victorian society. That was why it was important to have calling cards on hand at all times.
What is a Calling Card?
Calling cards were fancy little cards that proper ladies carried around with them when paying calls. They were decorated with drawings of flowers and fancy designs, and had the owner’s name written on them in fancy cursive. If the lady of the house wasn’t home at the time, the caller would leave her calling card at her house to let her know she had been there. This way, the lady of the house would know she had been payed a call and hadn’t been snubbed. Since the cards were such an important part of calling, it was only natural that the lady of the house kept a special dish to receive calling cards.
Now you, too, can have your own calling cards!
On Saturday, November 6, Girl Again is hosting a special calling card craft event in honor of Samantha. We will be making our own calling cards to give to the friends we visit over the holidays, just like proper ladies in Samantha’s time!
Please join us from 11am to noon, and have your very own little piece of Samantha’s world to carry around with you always.
Register now for our Creative Calling Card workshop: Samantha’s Calling Cards
We also have many Samantha dolls and accessories for sale at the boutique and online.
Written by Colleen O.