I don't actually own this dance card; it escaped me on ebay some time ago. But I managed to grab the helpfully-posted images before they vanished. It is not a very prepossessing card; it appears to be a simple folded piece of cardstock with black and white printing inside and out. The inside of the card is at left. The outside, below, features a simple but attractive front cover design of geometric shapes surrounding a bird in a lightly-sketched landscape.
What makes this card interesting to me is that it is not really a dance card for use at an actual ball. Notice how there are no spaces to fill in partners' names? Enlarge the inside of the card and in the fine print you'll see "We respectfully solicit your company for the above occasion", said occasion being a "Grand Ball!" to be given by Elmer Fife at Moore's Hall on Wednesday, January 27th, 1886. The card is actually an invitation, or possibly an advertisement, depending on how it was distributed. The final line on the left, "None but respected parties will be admitted to the ball" hints to me that it was not a very exclusive list. And I am amused by the larger-font assurance that there will be "GOOD MUSIC". Overall, this card reminds me most of the 1917 Ocean View Amusement Park card I posted several years ago.
There is no hint as to what city or state Moore's Hall was in, and I had some trouble tracking it down. The "Cambridge Herald Print." credit below the dance list finally led me to Ohio and the Cambridge [Ohio] Herald. I couldn't find any trace of Elmer Fife to confirm that I had found the correct Cambridge Herald, but on the back of the card, as may be seen at left, was notification of an Oyster Supper from "9:00 to 12:00 P. M." at Mrs. S. J. Fife's, in the same building. I was able to confirm the existence of such a person in Cambridge, Ohio, via a short blurb on page six of the Cambridge Jeffersonian of January 12, 1905: "Joseph Fife, who left this city about twenty years ago for the west where he located, arrived home TUES, for a visit with his mother, Mrs. S. J. Fife, of 10th Street, South Side, who is very ill." That's good enough for me to feel comfortable declaring this an Ohio dance card.
The hours of the Oyster Supper make me wonder when exactly the dancing occurred -- before 9:00 PM? After midnight, assuming that "12:00 P. M." is actually meant to represent midnight rather than noon? Concurrently with the supper?
The planned dance program consisted of thirty-five dances, including a final "Home Sweet Home" waltz but no grand march. The plan for the evening was for seventeen dances, a thirty-minute intermission, then seventeen more dances plus "Home Sweet Home". In each half of the ball, nine of the dances were unspecified quadrilles, alternating with a variety of couple dances: six waltzes (including "Home Sweet Home"), four schottisches, four varsoviennes, two polkas, and a "Danish Polka", which is an early sequence dance which turns up on dance cards just often enough (here's another occurrence) to remind me that I need to write about it someday. The creator of the program presumably considered it an attractive advertisement for the event, so these were dances people would be familiar with and expect to be able to do, which is useful information. I would call this a typical program for the era, with the only things to jump out at me being the length of the program and the relatively large number of varsoviennes. I think the quadrilles are more likely to have been "plain" quadrilles led by a caller (perhaps by Elmer Fife?) rather than choreographed sets, but it's impossible to tell.
What is also impossible to tell is how realistic this program was, whether this exact order was actually used for the evening's dancing, and (if so) how successfully it was carried out. I've seen pre-published ball programs before, mostly in newspapers (such as this one for the 1903 Wichita Firemen's Ball), but most of them are considerably shorter and less generic in appearance. The Ocean City card isn't really comparable, since on the 1917 card, the repertoire was entirely couple dances, many more of which can be squeezed into an evening. I'm having trouble imagining fitting eighteen quadrilles of any sort, if they were more than a figure apiece, into a single event. Was the card meant to be more symbolic ("Half the dances will be quadrilles!") than practical?
Food for thought.