Teaching Children Etiquette in the 19th and 20th Centuries

Teaching children etiquette is an art, as well as, a science.  These patented items below, are for teaching children how to eat properly and designed to instill good table manners. The patents show a historical standpoint of attempting to not only design but teach. And the rules still do matter today. Enjoy!
Oh... and for all those who have emailed me; Next post will be a continuation of the fabulously fickle, Miss May Van Alen, and her wild, Gilded Age romance saga.
These 2 forks were specifically designed to teach a child how to eat properly.  You nay be thinking, "Those are simply 'youth-sized' forks." And they are youth sized forks, but looking on the back sides of them, tells another story...

I have lightened the photo up a bit, so that you can see top one reads, "For the Left Hand".  The lower fork has a "finger guide" for a child to place his or her finger into, though the artist at the time, drew the illustration with the wrong hand using the fork.

A "child training fork" in the left hand

Eliza showing correct hands for the knife and fork, while still practicing technique.  The plate below was designed with a variety of children added to the plate as it was made.  All have marked where a child's fork and spoon would go, however the patent itself is vague.

"Etiquette spoons," a training fork and other youth utensils.

Though these spoons were not new, being marketed as "Etiquette Spoons" was new in the late 1800s.


  1. These are so creative. A lot of thought must have gone into each one. Thanks for sharing the information. Always a treat to read your blog...

  2. Ditto on the creativity of these items. I would love to see someone design some current items. And the training fork would be a good seller in stainless.. Will you be posting more?

  3. Wonderful collectibles. So pretty and USEFUL!!!


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