I find it most interesting that in the late 1800's women used calling cards as a part of their Social calling on each other. This "calling" was the way women made new acquaintances, paid respects to elders, and spent time with each other.
Every woman had her own day and time when her friends could drop by for a visit. As her guest left, she would drop one of her calling cards in the card receiver.
Calling cards were expected to reflect the personality of the owner. Some of the cards are signed by the person
others are printed.
The calling cards not only expressed the visit, they were also ways of communicating as well. If the hostess was not at home, the caller simply left a card. A special code was devised to indicate the nature of the call.
Folding the upper right corner meant that she had come in person. Folding the upper left corner signified an expression of congratulations. Folding the lower right corner meant good-bye. Folding the lower left corner conveyed an expression of condolence. Folding the whole left end of the card meant that she had come to visit all the women of the household.
With the availability of the computer, it is fun to make your own calling cards. You can be very creative and have a unique calling card. If you go to an office store you can buy paper that is used for making business cards or you can use card stock. Here is a site with free patterns. You can also order some very vintage looking calling cards from Victorian Trading Company.
My two cards are not really reflective of the late 1800's, however I understand that calling cards from that era are very collectible.