Bad Table Manners, 19th century

Thomas Hill began publishing Manual of Social and Business Forms in 1873 and republished it regularly with revisions and additions until 1911. Hill also published companion books such as the Album of Biography and Art. These comprehensive volumes provided advice on everything from letter writing to appropriate inscriptions for tombstones. This image and the next image are from the 1888 edition and provide an annotated illustration of good and bad table manners. Note the differences in the clothing and dining room furnishings. Hill’s images suggested that good manners were something practiced by the middle and upper classes, but unknown to working class people.
Thomas Hill. Hill’s Manual of Social and Business Forms. Chicago: Hill Standards Book Co., 1888, 152-53.
Image courtesy of Internet Archive and the California Digital Library.
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