Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Well-Suited Man...

Edward C. Gauvreau surveying 40 calling cards from businessmen in one day. April 1948, Washington, DC. Francis Miller. LIFE Magazine.

I started employment on a new job last week that carries with it a snazzy position title, and today I had to oversee the final edits to the business card.

Allow me to restate that salient point: MY BUSINESS CARD. A prospect thrilling enough all by itself, if it weren't for the fact that I was unemployed for a year and a half. Yeah, ouch. But, I began to think about the underlying meaning of this little 3 X 2 piece of weighted paper. Definitely one of the oft overlooked tools of the modern day business trade.

My new position will take me, literally, across the globe. With a firm handshake and a slight flip of the wrist my contact info will be distributed to the world.

I was curious about the history of business cards and fished around on the web to find suitable info. I found this:

In European Society:

...with the rise of the middle class during the Industrial Revolution and an overall lessening of social formality, a class of private entrepreneurs emerged in both Europe and the United States that had a constant need to exchange contact information...these were handed out widely at presentations and exhibitions but were looked upon with disdain by members of the upper class.

In the United States:

In the United States, however, business card use became widespread in the 1890s (the so-called age of the Captains of Industry or "robber barons") and the cards achieved their current level of ubiquity by the early 20th century.

Modern Business Card Etiquette and Format:

...Cards should not be carried loose but in appropriate card cases and should be maintained in pristine condition. The general rule of thumb is that the card should be presented in the condition in which the owner himself would appear for a high level business meeting -- immaculate and behaving according to the manners of the host nation.

That last bit is important. I am now on the search for a slick new card carrying case. Preferably something with vintage appeal. A well-suited man always needs...

Original Design © Copyright Cosmic Firefly. Via Etsy.

Original Design © Copyright Cosmic Firefly.

A bit too intricate for my purpose. But, you get the point. Via.

Not suitable for ALL businesses, but a conversation starter for sure. Via.

No comments:

Post a Comment