Did everybody in the 1920s have an etiquette book? They seem to have been everywhere. According to one promotion in the New York Times, you didn’t even have to pay! Just send the ad to Doubleday and receive a free copy of “Etiquette Problems in Pictures,” a book showing “mistakes that are constantly being made in public, in the dining-room, on the dance floor, at the theater.” Think you’re too good for an etiquette guide? Well, they’ve included a quiz to see just how much you know. See how many you can answer:
- When a man and a woman enter the theatre together, who walks first down the aisle?
- When the usher points out the seats, does the man enter first or the woman?
- Should the knife be held in the left hand or the right?
- Should olives be eaten with the finger or with a fork?
- How is lettuce eaten?
- What is the correct and cultured way to eat corn on the cob?
- Are the finger-tips of both hands placed in the finger bowl at once, or just one at a time?
- When a man walks in the street with two women, does he walk between them or next to the curb?
- Who enters the streetcar first, the man or the woman?
- When does a man tip his hat?
- On what occasion is it considered bad form for him to pay a woman’s fare?
- May a man on any occasion hold a woman’s arm when they are walking together?
I think I know the answer to one of these! Man, I would not have survived society in the 1920s.