Marlene recently found an obscure comb-bound book from 1951 titled, Your Household Guide. It was originally given out by the Etna Grange No. 387, Ithaca, New York.
The book is full of useful tips and information, most of which are outdated. For example...
"When storing linens, leave them unstarched as the starch rots them."
"Good Cheap Liniment: Break end of one egg open. Put the egg in a glass bottle. Fill the shell with turpentine. Also fill it with vinegar. Put both in bottle with egg and shake well. It is ready for use."
Perhaps in a future blog post, I will share more of these historically curious bits of household advice. But for now I want to focus on the CHILDREN'S SECTION, which begins with several manners that I assume were considered good and appropriate for 1951. Here they are...
1. Always greet the members of your family when you enter and always bid them goodbye when you leave.
2. Always rise to a standing position when visitors enter, and greet them after your elders.
3. Never address a visitor until he has started the conversation unless he is a person of your own age or younger.
4. Never interrupt a conversation. Wait until the party talking has finished.
5. Always rise when your visitor or your elders stand.
6. Never let your mother or your father bring you a chair or get one for themselves. Wait on them instead of being waited on.
7. If you leave or cross the room you should say "Excuse me."
8. If a visitor should say, "I am glad to have seen you," you should say, "Thank you."
9. Never run up or down the stairs or across the room.
10. Talk in a low, even voice. It denotes refinement.
11. Always give way to the younger child. It is your duty to look after them instead of fretting them.
12. Never retire without bidding the members of your family good night.
Follow these suggestions and you will assist in making the members of your family happy as well as in benefitting them in many other ways.
I was born in 1958. I don't recall ever being taught manners like these by my parents. I well remember being taught certain table manners, and some of the above manners were naturally assimilated, but not specifically taught.
My mother did, however, have an Emily Post book on etiquette in the bookcase, and I remember looking through it as a youngster.
I think it's safe to say that here in 2018, basic good manners are still taught to young children by their parents. The most obvious example being to say "Thank you" when given something. But advanced manner teaching is rarely ever taught in a deliberate way.
This lack of manners appears to be sorely lacking in our culture these days.
Personally, I think my own manners can be improved on by more intentionally following the manners advice in the 1951 Grange book.
Do you remember being taught manners like those above as a child?
Do you have a book of etiquette in your home?