The History Of Business Cards


Business Card History

I. Visiting Cards, 17th century

Visiting cards, the "Visite Biletes", used to be playing card size, just a little smaller than the size of a man's hand. The earliest forms of visiting cards were indeed playing cards. Visitors wrote on the cards their signatures, promissory notes and other messages.

As time went by, these visiting cards further developed into greeting and other cards.

These first visiting cards appeared in France during the reign of Louis XIV - "Le Roi Soleil". They were solemnly introducing their owners in all their glory.

Louis XIV, the King of France, was born in 1638 at St. Germain-en-Laye France. He ruled from 1643 to 1715 (72 years the longest reign in modern European history). He was styled the Grand Monarch, and his brilliant court at Versailles became a model and perhaps also the despair of other, less rich and less powerful princes who nevertheless accepted his theory of absolute monarch.

A great supporter of the arts, Louis patronized the foremost writers and artists of his time, including Moliere, Jean Racine, Jean de La Fontaine, and Charles Le Brun. The architect Jules Mansart supervised the building of the lavish palace of Versailles. Because of the brilliance of his court, Louis was called "Le Roi Soleil" and "Le Grand Monarque."


  Louis XIV

I.  Visiting Cards 17th Century   ●  II.  Trade Cards 17th Century   ●  III.  Business Cards 19th Century   ●  IV.  Calling Card Etiquette     V.  Trade Cards History

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