Title: Dance Card, USS Kearsarge (BB-5)
Accession #: NHHC 2010-115-43
Size: 4.5 x 3.25"
Medium: Paper, Metal
Location: Headquarters Artifact Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command
One dance card from the USS Kearsarge (BB-5). The booklet has a hinged metal cover. The front cover is engraved // U.S.S. Kearsarge // The back cover is engraved // Banquet / Nov. 5th 1901. // The cover of the card has a color illustration of couples dancing. At the lower left corner is a gold foil embossing of three stacked rifles with bayonets and a cartridge belt. The lower right corner bears the text // U.S. Flagship / Kearsarge, / Tuesday, November 5th, / 1901 // The interior leafs contain a list of officers, committee of arrangements, reception committee, order of dancing, and list of members.
Commissioned in February 1900, the USS Kearsarge was the lead ship of her class of pre-dreadnought battleships and the flagship of the North Atlantic Squadron. This dance card is from a banquet held at the Lexington Opera House in New York City.
Dance cards were staples of balls and society dances during the Victorian era. Women in attendance would use the card to record the names of the gentlemen she would dance with throughout the evening. The dance card was also a unique souvenir of the event.
Fun Fact: USS Kearsarge (BB-5) is the only US battleship not named for a state.