We think of the humble business card as something that the business folk of later part of the nineteenth century started in order to show how important they are and probably to allow them access into all of the good clubs of the day.
However, it seems that the business card has been around a lot longer than that, in fact according to this info graphic from Moo.com, the earliest forms of business cards date back as far as the fifteenth century. The Meishi was a card used as an introduction.
It was not until the seventeenth century in France, when the calling card was first used we can relate to this because it had the bearers name printed onto it, making it easier for them to be announced, etc. These days anyone can have a business card, you can even have one created based on your Facebook profile, how things have changed!