The Ettiquette of Notes and Letters, 1937

Oh, how things have changed.

Consulting my 1937 copy of The New Ettiquette by Margery Wilson, I learned that one never refers to the paper used in letter writing as “stationery”. The correct terms are “letter-paper, note-paper or writing-paper.”

Nowadays folks would just be happy to be on the receiving end – regardless of what it’s called.

(I apologize for the fuzzy quality of these scans. The book is 75 years old, fragile and slightly warped. It becomes a little clearer when clicked on and enlarged. When I find my camera, I’ll try photographing the pages and see if that improves the appearance.)


Filed under 1937, Books, Correspondence, Ephemera, Non-Fiction

5 responses to “The Ettiquette of Notes and Letters, 1937

  1. These are wonderful even if they are fuzzy. I always love a good letter and that’s why I’m pretty fervent about writing to my friends overseas or friends just around the blog. There’s something about seeing your own handwriting on the page, picking out stamps, licking that too-sweet envelope lid.

  2. Joe

    As a man, I can attest that this is true. However, I can hardly force myself to sit down and write something to send in the mail. It reminds me of the old saying, “To have a friend, one must be a friend”. In other words, to get letters, one must write letters. Unless, of course, we include letters from those who want money from us. 😦

  3. Those aren’t letters.

    They are nasty-grams. 😉

  4. This was fascinating. My mother was a champion letter writer. She corresponded with many family, friends and even pen palls she had never met. We hardly ever got a mail delivery without at least one letter in it — and there were usually several.

    I thought the part of these pages that was especially interesting was the suggestion that the width of black borders on writing paper be used to indicate the progression of someone’s mourning.

    Thanks for sharing these pages. They were very interesting to read.

    • Several years ago I read an early 20th century ettiquette book which said that using light blue paper was tacky and to be avoided.

      Harrumph. I’ve always liked pastel writing paper.

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