An 1893 Dance Card
Washington's Birthday Ball, Cuttingsville, Vt. - February 22, 1893
This simple bifold card measures 6 7/8" by 4 7/8" inches when opened. The cover is lettered in black, with an ornate lithographed design in gold, blue, green and ochre. The programme is for a ball at the Union House, a hotel in Cuttingsville Vt., and was in celebration of Washington's Birthday. George Washington's birthday was more elaborately celebrated in the 19th century than it is today, receiving even more patriotic observance after the national centennial in 1876. Dance cards and newspaper items from earlier in the century show that this presidential birthday was often celebrated with a dance or ball.
The music here was by Reille's Orchestra, and tickets were $2.00. The cards were apparently sent out to gentlemen, who were requested to bring a lady or ladies. The back cover lists the dance committee, as well as the floor managers for the evening. The card itself was printed in Rutland, Vt.
There are 25 dances listed on the inside, 13 of them quadrilles. (For a description of a late 19th century Lancers Quadrille see MIXED PICKLES' Vintage Dance Timeline - The 19th Century.) The evening begins with a Grand March at 8 o'clock. The remainder of the dances show a distinct New England flavor, since seven of the country set dances are listed as "Contras" a term more widely used in this geographical area. The last dance of the evening was done to "Home, Sweet Home," a popular tune with which dances often ended in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
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