As I discover more information about ephemera I am drawn to Victorian Calling Cards. I have been doing a little research.
"Ladies would leave these cards as a gentle reminder that they had dropped by. The custom of carrying calling or visiting cards began in France in the early 1800's. It quickly spread throughout Europe, and became very popular in the United States, especially the New England area from 1840-1900".
Calling cards were carried primarily by the "well-to-do" ladies who made a point to go calling on friends and family on a specified day of the week or month, depending on their location and proximity to neighbors. They would leave a finely crafted calling card as a gentle reminder that no one was home when they dropped by. A silver tray sat on a table in the entryway and the cards were dropped there. Here is an interesting sample that I found. Thanks to daysofelegance.com for the information and pics!