Howdy! Here’s an interesting question for you: Do you have any idea how business cards came about and developed into what they are today? Well I did not until I researched it a bit more! From the elite’s calling cards to the middle classes publicity cards to business cards like we know them today: read our post to find out more!

A 17th Century Calling/Visiting Card

As just mentioned, the ancestor of business cards is the upper class’ calling or visiting card. Starting from the 17th Century, the elite started using these cards to announce visits or invite other people to give them a call (how dandy!). Back in the day, those cards just contained the name of the person, sometimes their telephone number (if they had a telephone), and other people used the back of the card to take notes or write down their thoughts about the person. Around the 19th Century, this habit extended to the growing middle class. However they extended this traditional use, by greatly emphasizing their background, profession, and social status. They customarily added a little portrait, photograph, or other type of embellishment to their cards.

A 19th Century Business Card

(Just look how proud that handsome man stands on his own business card!)

Quite hilariously, in those days people also used this type of cards to “pick up” girls and flirt. It might be time to relive that custom! Just try it, it might work and at the very least it would be a good laugh!

The Famous Pick-up Line Business Card

Over the course of the last two centuries, and with the intensifying industrial development that took place, business cards such as we know them today were born. They were born out of the need to facilitate the exchange of corporate information, to facilitate doing business. That is how business cards progressively evolved into advertisement for oneself and/or his/her company.

Anyhow, hopefully this post will have added to your general knowledge, and will have given you an (awesome) idea.