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19th Century Acquaintance Cards Were the Pick-Up Lines of a Lost Age

(Photo: Alan Mays)

It’s Tinder from the Gilded Age. You want to chat up a girl? You can drop a nice line on her or you can just slip her a card. Back in the 1870s and 1880s in the United States, gentlemen would offer these cards to ladies they found attractive. Often they consisted of formal invitations of acquaintanceship or offers to escort a lady home, which is why they were sometimes called "escort cards."

(Photo: Alan Mays)

Some men offered to escort ladies at great peril. They subtly boasted of their virile courage, saying that they would take risks to enjoy such esteemed company.

(Photo: Alan Mays)

Others were downright risqué. Mr. Krout, for example, offers this card-sized résumé of amorous abilities, which he offers to demonstrate confidentially. This may repel ladies of quality. But when advertising your services, it be helpful to state exactly what you have to offer. You will attract the right sort of customer.

These three cards come from Alan Mays's massive photo gallery of acquaintance cards. Peruse and take notes--you may find something useful.

-via Messy Nessy Chic

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