Thursday, September 24, 2009

Good Manners circa 1929

I picked up a little book called "Good Manners *  Reliable Advice on Etiquette, Clearly Told." It was written in 1929. The brown-edged pages are brittle and the binding is cracked but it's a good read. The content is priceless.

I guess using all caps was not considered SCREAMING back then.

When sipping a liquid such as soup, do it QUIETLY. Do not give anyone the chance to say or think, "I HEAR you like your soup."

Keep your mouth closed when chewing. This will avoid making the disagreeable noise that you hear when people chew with their mouths open. It is simply not DONE.

Fish bones may be taken from the mouth with the fingers...NEVER with the fork.

Even if you are "half starved" DO NOT SHOW IT by eating fast. Well-bred people eat slowly.

A GIRL SHOULD NEVER SEND A MAN A GIFT unless engaged and then ONLY AT CHRISTMAS and on HIS BIRTHDAY. On these occasions it is best not to have the gift be too personal. A book or cigarettes is sufficient.

If you are a woman having luncheon with a man, look over the menu and TELL HIM what you wish to eat. DO NOT tell the waiter or waitress. Your escort should do that. Do not order a meal that is too expensive. Restraint is ALWAYS a sign of good breeding.

NO MAN SHOULD SMOKE in an elevator when women are present. He need not throw away his cigar or cigarette, but should hold it in his hand, taking care NOT TO BURN THE CLOTHING OF THE OTHER PASSENGERS.

And finally....

Women in business should be ready to start their work the moment they arrive at the office. The habit of many girls arriving just before the opening hour and then spending several minutes powdering, rouging and so on IS NOT FAIR TO THE FIRM.


  1. hysterical!! Love the caps for emphasis...

  2. The last one is sooo "Mad Men!" Glad you laughed as I did ;-)