A feature of New Year’s Day in Aurora in Victorian times was making social calls on the ladies. Women – married and unmarried, young and not so young – would publish their names and addresses in the newspapers announcing their intention to be *at home* that day, thus offering an opportunity for the gents to efficiently spend their day paying calls which lasted no more than 15 minutes.
The men presented their calling cards, removed their hats and coats (although gloves could be retained in hand if so desired) and partook of refreshments in the parlor (but no alcohol). Then off to another visit. In the photo, young men of the Idle Hour Club created their own version of a carriage for the amusement of the town. In the newspaper clipping, the ladies *at home* were precocious pre-teenagers.