Lula’s letter reveals that the general concept of entertaining hasn’t changed in 117 years, just its elements. Instead of cheese boards and Cards Against Humanity, it was the ever-popular coconut layer cake (also called cocoanut) and the “Acme of Parlor Games” in 1903—Flinch. The game retailed for 50 cents and consisted of the “Finest cards (150) of heavy, enamelled (sic) stock,
with handsome back in crimson design, with dainty, attractive, numbered faces.” By 1904, sales began dwindling and Geyer’s Stationer Catalog proclaimed the door open for a new card game. The most likely contender they predicted? Bunco. Sources: The Charlotte Democrat (October 15, 1886). The American Stationer (1903). Geyer’s Stationer Catalog (1904).