Little Bits of History

Come Up and See Me Some Time

Posted in History by patriciahysell on October 13, 2010

Threadneedle Street today

September 29, 1650: The Office of Addresses and Encounters is opened by Henry Robinson on Threadneedle Street, London, England. It was the first historically documented dating service. Threadneedle Street would become the site of the Bank of England in 1734 and later the London Stock Exchange as well.

Meeting the “right person” has always been a problem. Historically, many matches were made without any participation by the people being matched. But with more freedom to choose a mate, available mates had to be known. Many cultures have “matchmakers” that set up meetings between what seem like compatible people.

Dating services have changed over time. The personals section of newspapers have been around for decades. With a more mobile society, it is difficult to meet people and so many new ways to do so have been initiated. There are face-to-face businesses where a person can go and enter information about themselves and about the qualities sought in a prospective date. These work best in small communities.

Online dating services are now ubiquitous. People enter data via a website. They list their own qualities, what they are seeking in a mate, can supply pictures or videos, and then wait for responses. These are sometimes dinner and a movie type dates, or speed dates, where one can run through several prospective mates in an afternoon. There are also international dating services which are more in line with mail-order brides than simple dating.

“Being in therapy is great. I spend an hour just talking about myself. It’s kinda like being the guy on a date.” – Caroline Rhea

“A man on a date wonders if he’ll get lucky. The woman already knows.” – Monica Piper

“Love is the answer, but while you are waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions.” – Woody Allen

“There are three possible parts to a date, of which at least two must be offered: entertainment, food, and affection. It is customary to begin a series of dates with a great deal of entertainment, a moderate amount of food, and the merest suggestion of affection. As the amount of affection increases, the entertainment can be reduced proportionately. When the affection is the entertainment, we no longer call it dating. Under no circumstances can the food be omitted.” – Judith Martin, Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior

Also on this day, in 1954 CERN was established.

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