This dates back to 1900. Goops and How to Be Them: A Manual of Manners for Polite Infants by Gelett Burgess. Very short – the second on Table Manners.
I’d love to hear from listeners what table manners they were taught by their parents and what as parents they teach/have taught their kids.
At my best friend’s house we were to sit up straight and no elbows on the table. But at home, neither of those were required. At home we were to arrive with washed hands and stay at the table until excused. And no leaning back on 2 legs of the chairs. We had a hand-washing poem:
“Wash and wipe together, live in peace forever.”
We were not encouraged to lick the plates after a slice of Mom’s delicious pies, but I would do it anyway. Dad would shake his head, but we all knew it was a compliment to Mom’s great pie achievement, so I got away with it. I wouldn’t dare try that at my friend’s house!