While thumbing through The Practical Book of Outdoor Flowers, this time I found the name card of a Mr. Whiton tucked among the old pages. It was only 1 by 2.5 inches, with the name printed in a simple and lovely script. The card was written over in careful cursive, to amend the "Mr." to be "Mr. + Mrs.," and to add details of their child's christening.
With regards to name cards, I always think back to Laura Ingalls Wilder. It was through her book, Little Town on the Prairie, that I first learned of name cards, about their irresistible appeal and the practice of exchanging them. Among the teenagers of the time, autograph books were signed and name cards were swapped. Laura considered the cards to be a bit of a luxury, and only after careful thought—and her Pa's gentle generosity—did she decide to purchase some for herself (25¢ for a dozen). Indeed, it feels really special to have a set of personalized stationery!
By the way, out of curiosity, I did a search for Mr. Whiton. It turns out he won a couple Olympic gold medals for sailing, back in 1948 and 1952. Oh, the internet!