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19th century Tinder: How Victorian era Americans used ‘escort cards’ to woo women

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The idea of discreet romantic interactions that a service such as Tinder provides is nothing new. But back in the late 19th century, Americans were exchanging  cheeky personalized cards to start a romance — call them ink-and-paper Tinder.

Escort cards were made by men who would come up with their “best” (or more likely cheesy) pick up line and write it on a card. The card would be passed to a woman and she would decide whether to keep the card or reject him by returning it.

The escort cards helped people find love while also breaking the strict conventions of social interaction.