A museum for minding your manners
Head to the East Bay city of Hayward, and you’ll find a museum with a little bit of class. There, the city’s historical society puts on exhibits about the way we used to live. But were Bay Area citizens of the past really so different than us? KALW’s Hana Baba wanted to know more, so she stopped by the museum for a lesson in what many people consider a lost art: formal etiquette.
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August 9, 2011
DIANE CURRY: The different sections in the exhibition look at four every day situations: visiting, table manners, walking down the street, and being at work. For each section, including the "at work" section, what we usually do is pull quotes from various books and set them next to the artifacts. So you can look at a period artifact and then look at this quote, which then makes you go, "Huh! Those are pretty relevant to today.” Some of them aren't so relevant, especially the ones directed towards women. They're a little sexist (laughs).
HANA BABA (on location): Can you read one?
CURRY: Sure! "A woman's expectation in business: the clever business woman realizes that she's on ground long held sacred to man and that, while she must remain a lady in the finest sense of the word, she must not expect to find drawing room manners in an office," from the Book of Modern Etiquette, 1935.
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