vintage dance cards

Vintage Dance Cards from the 1930s and 1940s

One of the reasons I enjoy selling ephemera is because I really enjoy checking it out myself.  Old paper (usually) items that no one really ever thought of as collectible at the time, do a wonderful job of capturing little chunks of history.  They are small concrete pieces of popular culture that you can hold in your hand.  If you have a little bit of imagination, they’re a little like tickets back to an earlier time.

These old dance cards are part of a lot I purchased from an estate.  Some were from the late 30’s and others from the early part of the 1940’s.  America was on the verge of World War 2.  America was at the end of the Great Depression.  The country was about to undergo some major changes.  I had some of these cards that actually had names filled out on the inside, but they are gone now.  The idea was that you got your name on a ladies dance card, and then you waited your turn.  I don’t know if that is how things actually worked out.

On a smaller scale, these old dance cards show what people were doing for fun in a places just outside of Pittsburgh called McKeesport, Rankin, and East Pittsburgh.  Olympia Park was new and the area was doing pretty well for itself, all things considered.  That entire area underwent some major changes when the steel industry left Pittsburgh.  Things are different now.  Anyway, here are a few old dance cards for you to check out.  If you like them, please Pin them or use the social buttons below to share them with friends.

vintage dance cards
Four vintage dance cards from the Pittsburgh area. These were part of a larger lot that was sold separately.
40s dance card
This is from a dance put on by the Young Men’s Club of East Pittsburgh at the Hungarian Ballroom.
East Pittsburgh Dance Card
Dated December 3, 1939. The entertainment was the “dance sensation of the year” Fran Eichler and his N.B.C. Talk of the Town Music.
An Easter dance held at the Croation Hall in Rankin, PA. It featured Jimmy Zummo's orchestra.
An Easter dance held at the Croation Hall in Rankin, PA. It featured Jimmy Zummo’s orchestra.
Croation Hall dance
The back of the card featured a coupon for 10 cents off of admission.
vintage mckeesport
A Jazz Battle that included a popularity contest for the girls who showed up. Different times!
sing along dance card
Want to sing along?
dance cards 1940s
Another Jazz battle. This card actually bolds the fact that Leroy Brown has a “colored” band. Like I said, different times.
old dance cards
Plenty of space for dance partners.

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