Speed-dating is a phenomenon that, according to harvardmagazine.com, first came on the scene in 1999 in California.
A group of single men and women would meet, pair off and, for about 3 to 8 minutes, chat and get to know each other. Then, a signal would sound and the pair would change and start all over again with a new partner.
If a participant were lucky, perhaps he or she might find true love.
This excerpt from an April 19, 1964, The Oklahoman article by Helen Ford, still writing today for the newspaper as Helen Ford Wallace, sets the record straight.
In early-day Oklahoma, around the time of the Land Run in 1889, when young men wanted to meet young ladies, this is one of the ways it was accomplished:
“Visiting back and forth was the primary way of socializing in the town and country in those days and the main way for a boy to meet a girl. Socials came into the scene.
“A young man would ask a settler’s wife if a social might be held in her home and having secured her permission, after earnest urging, he would deliver verbal invitations to everybody. One of the favorite entertainments of these groups was the ‘set-to.’ Seats were arranged around the wall and as the young people assembled, the hostess seated them in couples. After a man had talked to a girl for 10 or 15 minutes, it was the hostess’ duty to bring up another man, take the first one away and give his place to the newcomer.
“The other man would then be seated by some other girl and so they were all shifted around until every man had been introduced to every girl and had talked with her for a few minutes. Many romances blossomed after those few minutes.”