Thursday, February 24, 2011

Calling Cards

Ah, the lovely calling card.  I strongly recommend that steampunks should create and carry upon their persons calling cards (also called visiting cards) and a pen. (Or have a reputable stationer create a set for you.)

Calling cards, or visiting cards, were a Victorian social requisite.  When going visiting, the Victorian lady, gentleman, or person of note or ambition) would ensure they had their card upon their person.  Cards would be left at a house (either in person or by a servant), to convey their intention to visit, or to leave a message.  Cards would be left on a silver platter or basket or similar device if the person was not at home, or was not receiving.  Calling cards could be used for introductions, to further acquaintance, or to send messages, announce one's arrival or departure from town, or to send congratulations or condolences.  The calling card was a handy little device for communication.  It could be as simple as just your name on one side.
There could be an elaborate design around the name:
They could include your photo:
or be exceptionally frilly or whimsical:
They could also be a cunning way to let a lady (or, in today's world, a man) know of your interest (and some are definitely less high-brow than others):
For a wide variety of actual Victorian styles, this website has a lot of images:

I think the calling card is perfect for the steampunk world.  You can put your name and address (and / or email address) on them, and keep a pen handy to add a personal message, a phone number, your Facebook name, or some such.  You can give one to whomever you wish.  They can be simple or elaborate, and as classy or as playful as you like.

I decided to create my own calling card, so I have a handy way to give my information to people, no matter where I am.  I have some printed with just my name, and the city I live in, and I have another set which also has my email address, where a street address would have been on a Victorian card.  
I used one of the fonts I found online.  The background is a very washed-out version of an image I found online of a set of patina-ed brass gears sold by Objects and Elements.  The card back is plain, to allow me to leave a message, write my cell number, etcetera.  

Of course, I needed a case to carry my cards in:
And a silver plate to receive them (not that I have a doorman (human or automaton) to receive them for me ... yet).
I just wanted to bring calling cards to your attention, if you weren't familiar with them, and perhaps plant a seed to create a calling card of your own, to suit your personality, or your persona.


  1. I'm guessing that calling cards are making a come-back. My daughter asked for some for her 21st birthday last year. I purchased a gift certificate for her from Zazzle, so she could choose her own card design, and found a pretty case for the cards on Clockwork Couture's website.

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  3. Great post! Calling cards are super handy. My husband and I just made some up for ourselves for Wild Westcon. We just used the Avery free software and some nice Avery perforated business cards. Worked like a charm though they are certainly not so fancy as your own!

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  6. Do note that spam comments, trying to sell stuff, AND entirely unrelated to my blog posts, will be deleted swiftly.

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  8. This is really a nice in which you said the ways to stay connected with family and friends, thanks for sharing and keep going on.

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