07 November 2011

the re-introduction of Victorian calling cards

Last week, I needed to get someone's address. I see this woman on a regular basis (we volunteer together). I was about to write it down on a scrap of paper, but before I could she just whipped out a "business" card and handed it to me.  She's retired and doesn't have a side business or whatever, so it was totally unexpected.

The card simply had her name, email, phone, and address.  She had printed it herself on her own computer.  I threw it in my wallet and went on my merry way, thinking it was the coolest thing ever!  It actually reminded me of the calling cards you hear about them using in the Victorian days (except now with a lot more information).
Old style: just a name
I knew that you can get a free sample pack (with free shipping) of 10 business cards from moo.com, so I decided to make my own!  We have less than a year left at this address, so I think 10 will be plenty.  I'm excited to get my cards in upcoming week!
What I ordered: I put my phone number in black instead of a title or industry
By the way, this may be only news to me, but apparently Shutterfly has a decent selection of calling cards (a lot geared toward moms) if you want to get fancy.  I found a few other sites have them referred to as "mommy cards," which I can definitely see being useful when you meet other moms and want to set up play dates and such.

*Neither moo.com nor Shutterfly gave me jack squat to write this post.  But if you're out there lurking, feel free to get in touch.


  1. Calling cards used to be in fashion in the Navy as well, but I haven't seen anyone use them. However, I'm with you- I'd like to bring them back! Very useful and very classy.

  2. I had cards made up when I was going to NOSC events all the time with just my name and info on them. They are great for people who I want to connect with again! It's so great to keep them tucked in my purse. I went with Vista Print which has hundreds of styles for pretty cheap, since we move all the time! Definitely something to have once your baby comes for playdates!

  3. Actually, calling cards were popular even when people our parents age were in their 20s and 30s, especially military folks and their wives. I remember both my parents having them and leaving them when they went to parties, etc. You can buy blank business cards at Office Max with free design template downloads available (check the package) and print them up yourself....Avery even makes one where you can't see the perforations! I used these to print "business cards" (name/address/email/phone) for myself as well as change of address cards we slipped into Bunkey's birth announcements so we could give people our new address at the same time!

  4. Wow, I'm learning even more about these, thanks to these lovely comments!

    I found this article on Naval social customs, with a whole section on calling.

    I also found this awesome post from the Art of Manliness on resurrecting them in men's social circles as well.

    Here's some food for thought from the Manliness article: "During the heyday of calling cards, using a business card for a social purpose was considered bad manners. Today, while business cards are great for making business contacts, they still aren’t really suited for social situations."