Social Etiquette in the Late 19th Century

Correspondence in the late 19th century was much different than today. There were no cell phones, internet, voicemail, e-mail, text messaging and other forms of communication we rely on every day.  Our archives have revealed to us that calling cards, hand painted menus and engraved wedding invitations were a constant favorite of Dempsey & Carroll’s female patrons.  

The importance of the calling card was very significant to social circles during the 19th century. In 1881 one of our founders, George Carroll, explained “Leaving cards is one of the most important of social observances, as it is the groundwork or nucleus in society of all acquaintanceships; it is the first step towards forming a circle of fulfillment of its prescribed rules, would result in the probable loss of desired acquaintanceship, or the risk of being characterized as ill-bred.”


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