Monday, January 23, 2006

My brother sent me a stack of old books he picked up at an estate sale. Inside one of the books, I found this little treasure neatly folded in half and then in half again. The certificate (from the United States of America) reads as follows:

The New York
Society of Self-Culture

To all to whom this may come, Greeting: This is to Certify that the Bearer is hereby constituted a Life Member of The New York Society of Self-Culture. Bureau of Enquiry Privileges are conferred as per Bureau of Enquiry Rules printed on the reverse hereof. In Testimony Whereof, we have herewith set our hand and affixed our seal on this, the _________ day of __________A.D., 19___, at The City of New York, in the State of New York, U.S.A.
The New York Society of Self Culture
No. B8231
(signed) Adelaide Gordon, Secretary

N.B. - This certicate is to be retained by the member and is non-transferable. The number must be mentioned in all letters of enquiry.

On the back of the certificate, we find this:

For Social Counsel
Upon Special and Personal Questions Consult
The New York Society of Self-Culture
For the guidance of those who wish
to appear well, and for parents who
wish their children to appear well

A membership in this Society includes the privileges of a Bureau of Enquiry, maintained to keep members in touch with changes in Social Forms; together with ownership of "Correct Social Usuage," a Course of Instruction in Good Form, Style and Deportment, which is also an authoritative work of Ready Reference, covering every essential of Good Manners. THis Course has been prepared by Seventeen Distinguished Authors.
Bureau of Enquiry
A memership in The New York Society of Self-Culture carries with it: (1) The privilege of twenty enquiries of our Bureau of Enquiry without other charge than prepayment of postage upon replies. This is to enable every member to consult us freely after a first reading of the Course of Instruction, that we may further explain any points not made sufficiently clear, and adapt any difficult procedure to exceptional social conditions. (2) The life privilege of consulting our Bureau upon any matter of Social Usage for the nominal charge of twenty-five cents per enquiry. By this means members are kept constantly in touch with authoritative information concerning changing Social Forms, and have easy accesss to a correct understanding of any perplexing social questions concerning which they may not be quite sure. For further information address
The New York Society of Self-Culture 32 Waverly Place New York

Attached, one finds 20 coupons:

Customary Fee (25c.) Twenty-Five Cents.
Attach coupon to your letter, put in a 2-cent stamp, give full name and address and enclose in an envelope addressed to New York Society of Self-Culture, 32 Waverly Place, New York. Not Transferable.

A quick internet search reveals this book published by the Society and written in 1905 by 17 distinguished authors!

Correct Social Usage A Course of Instruction in Good Form, Style And Deportment


Blogger Unknown said...

I was just going through some old books from my moms house and I have this book. I would be willing to sell it for $10.00 plus shipping. Are you interested? Reply to

5:11 PM, May 12, 2012  

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