More How To Travel – Written 1878


Personally I am fascinated by history, especially the history of how we as a society treat one another. When I came across an article written in 1878 on travel I thought it could be interesting. I started reading and realized it was a glimpse into manners and how children were expected to behave in public. I also believe it was teaching self-reliance and self-sufficiency. Let me know what you think. . .

Here’s the continuation of the first part of this article. The author Susan Anna Brown now tells us how to be polite while traveling. Part three of this article will be posted tomorrow. Installment one can be found in the “To Share” category.

This article was first published in St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. V, August, 1878


Try to be ready, so that you will not be hurried at the last moment; and this does not mean that it is necessary to be at the station a long time before the train leaves. To be punctual does not mean to be too early, but to be just early enough.

Try to find out, before you start, what train and car you ought to take, and have your trunk properly checked. Put the check in some safe place, but first look at the number, so that you may identify the check if lost by you and found by others. Have your ticket where you can easily get it, and need not be obliged to appear, when the conductor comes, as if it was a perfect surprise to you that he should ask for it.

Of course, you have a right to the best seat which is vacant, and, if there is plenty of room, you can put your bundles beside or opposite you; but remember that you have only paid for one seat, and be ready at once to make room for another passenger, if necessary, without acting as though you were conferring a favor.

If you have several packages, and wish to put any of them in the rack over your head, you will be less likely to forget them, if you put all together, than you will if you keep a part  in your hand.

If you must read in the cars, never in any circumstances take a book that has not fair, clear type; and stop reading at the earliest approach of twilight. If, as you read, you hold your ticket, or some other plain piece of paper, under the line you are reading, sliding it down as you proceed, you will find that you can read almost as rapidly, and with much less injury to your eyes. A newspaper is the worst reading you can have, as the print is usually indistinct, and it is impossible to hold it still.

You may not care to read in the cars when in motion, but it is convenient to have a book with you, in case the train should be delayed.

If your friends accompany you to the station, be careful that your last words are not too personal or too loud. Young people are apt to overlook this, and thus sometimes make themselves ridiculous before the other passengers by joking and laughing in a way which might be perfectly proper at home, but which before a company of strangers is not in good taste.

If you meet acquaintances, do not call out their names so distinctly as to introduce them to the other passengers, as it is never pleasant for people to have the attention of strangers called to them in that way. If you are alone, do not be too ready to make acquaintances. Reply politely to any civil remark or offer of assistance, but do not allow yourself to be drawn into conversation, unless it is with some one of whose trustworthiness you are reasonably sure, and even then do not forget that you are talking to a perfect stranger.


***What do you think, are children as polite today?

Was this standard too high for the children of 1878?***


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