With the advent of cellphones and other smart devices to arrange off-the-cuff visits to friends and family, carte de visite (visiting cards) have virtually lost their use. Several boxes of such cards in Whangārei Museum's Archives are personal ephemera of bygone times and bygone rules.

Possibly originating in China in the 15th century AD, visiting or calling cards rose in worldwide use in the 17th century AD. Before modern technology, people used small pre-cut pieces of card to pre-announce their arrival at someone's home or to leave a note if their intended was out.

Within the growing rigidity and extravagance