From: Etiquette: The Blue Book of Social Usage by Emily Post, New York and London, Funk & Wagnalls Co, 1922/37.
When the pioneer women’s club of New York was started – a club that aspired to be in the same class as the most important men’s club—various governors of the latter were unflatteringly outspoken; women could not possibly run a club as it should be run – it was unthinkable that they should be foolish enough to attempt it! And the husbands and fathers of the founders expected to have to dig down in their pockets to make up the deficit; forgetting entirely that the running of a club is merely the running of a house on a large scale, and that women, not men, are the perfect housekeepers.
Good manners in clubs are the same as good manners elsewhere – only a little more so. A club is for the pleasure and convenience of many; it is never intended as a stage-setting for a “star” or “clown” or “monologist”. There is no place where a person has a greater need of restraint and consideration for the reserves of others than in a club. In every well appointed club there is a reading room or library where conversation is not allowed; there are books and easy chairs and good light for reading both by day and night; and it is one of the unbreakable rules not to speak to anybody who is reading – or writing.
The fundamental rule for behaviour in a club is the same as in the drawing-room of a private house. In other words, heels have no place on furniture, ashes belong in ash receivers, books should not be abused, and all evidence of exercising should be confined to the courts or courses and the locker room. Many people who wouldn’t think of lolling around the house in unfit attire, come trooping into country clubs with their steaming faces, clammy shirts, and rumpled hair, giving extremely unpleasant evidence of recent exertion and present fitness for the bath.