Lesson #12: Calling Cards

The next two weeks worth of posts will be fairly brief. In some cases, there may not even be research attached because at the moment I am in New York spending Christmas with my family and that will be followed by a week of gallavanting about Budapest with some friends for New Year’s. Some days, there won’t even be posts. I’ll have to catch it up with posts on multiple subjects…likely wholly unrelated.

You know, because that’s how I roll.

Anyway, my parents have this stand that has, for all my life, held plants. At the moment, it’s holding up a very flowery Christmas cactus. It’s strange looking (in a stand like way) and I never really knew what it was for until my grandparents showed up this afternoon and my grandfather commented on it. It had been his great aunt’s and when she died her possessions had been split up. How my parents came to have it is still a mystery. But that’s not the point. The point is, this plant stand is actually…a calling card stand from way back when people had calling cards instead of cell phones. Or telephones at all, really.

So my research is really less research and more listening to my grandfather explain that in Victorian times upper and middle class homes would have a servant to answer the door and when the occupants were not at home, or not taking visitors, the person at the door would leave a calling card to let the person(s) know that he had been there and/or allow for the resident to screen guests. I had always just assumed that calling card trays were just trays that sat on a side table (and they often are, to be fair) but apparently there were also stands for such things. I’ll get around to taking a picture at some point…

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