Calling Card Case and Cards

Title

Calling Card Case and Cards

Description

Instead of dropping a text or leaving a voicemail,
people in the 19th century often left a card after a
social visit, to express condolences, or to convey
thanks. These cards were literally a way to say:
“I was here.” If the recipient was not available, then
the cards could be left in a tray in the home’s entrance
hall. Trays of cards were often displayed as a way of
demonstrating one’s social network—a precursor
to Facebook. Intricate social rules governed the
exchange of calling cards. They were an important
way to establish or strengthen social ties among elite
families. This case, covered in Chinese silk brocade,
contains cards from three sisters: Lillian, Mary, and
Florence Burr of Greens Farms.

Source

Estate of Catherine Burr

Date

19th Century

Rights

Fairfield Museum and History Center

Identifier

1986.12.129

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