Published: Oct. 1, 2019

calling cards

Visiting cards of students in the first year of CU’s Prep School, 1877-1878.

Visiting cards, also known as calling cards, were popular among both men and women in the 19th century. People making a social visit to a home would present themselves by leaving a card, often with a domestic servant. Specific etiquette depended on age and status. Whether plain or elaborately decorated, the card typically listed only the bearer’s name, leaving space for a message.

These cards belonged to Timothy Stanton (1883), a member of CU’s Prep School in 1877-78. Stanton subsequently enrolled at CU, graduating with the university’s second class. He went on to a distinguished career in paleontology.

timothy stanton

These cards, now part of the CU Heritage Center’s collection, belonged to 1883 graduate Timothy Stanton.

Prep School at CU

The first year of classes at CU Boulder, 1877-1878, were all preparatory school classes — essentially high school classes intended to prepare students for college-level work.

52 students completed the first year of Prep School classes:

  • 16 Women
  • 36 Men


Learn more about the CU Heritage Center and its exhibits and collections. 

Photo by Casey A. Cass (top)/ Courtesy CU Heritage Center