Women puzzle bankers, and business men in general, by the way they often sign their names. It may not occur to them that the banker does not necessarily know that the wife of Henry E. Fisher is Jane W. Fisher. The banker may have been doing business with the husband, who may be taken ill; possibly his wife will write some communication regarding his business and will refer to " Mr. Fisher," and sign it as Jane W. Fisher. Good luck attends the banker in his efforts if he always pairs such people off in the way they belong. The best way for a woman to sign her business letters is, to continue above illustration, Jane W. Fisher, and then directly below - (Mrs. Henry E. Fisher); or the words " wife of " may be inserted between the two signatures. Of course, in all legal documents and in checks, etc., she must use her legal signature, which, in this instance, would be Jane W. Fisher. The writer has seen four different consecutive letters received from the same woman, all within a period of less than two weeks, the first one signed, we will say, Jane W. Fisher, the second one J. W. Fisher (thus being mistaken for a man), the third, Mrs. Jane W. Fisher, and the fourth, Mrs. Henry E. Fisher. This was confusing, indeed. A system of letter filing in an office may be much upset by this method, and letters incorrectly filed by some clerk and never afterwards located. Countless women sign their business communications in a way that makes it impossible to tell whether or not they are married. In all business communications the "Miss " or "Mrs." should be made apparent.
The query is often raised as to how a married woman shall legally sign:
There is no law fixing other than the surname of a woman who is married. When Mary Jane Doe becomes Mrs. Brown the law provides no rule which she must follow. It would seem more logical to use the form " Mary Jane Brown," but as a matter of convenience to indicate whom the person is - or was before marriage - " Mary Doe Brown " is better. Either method of signing is accepted. It is customary, however, when a woman, after marrying, executes papers transferring title to something which she acquired under her maiden name, to put a recital in the instrument she signs setting out the fact. For instance, in discharging a mortgage, the discharge would contain a clause substantially like this: " I, Mary Jane Brown, the holder of a certain mortgage given by Richard Rowe to me under my maiden name of Mary Jane Doe, dated January 1, 1907, and recorded, etc."