In the last century, the tradition of writing was the main way to keep in touch with friends and family over long distances. Some writing implements and accessories from this era lent a certain luxury to this important social ritual that we relish, even today.
A dedicated letter writer, Ida McFaddin kept up with communication trends, and in the 1930s she purchased this portable Royal typewriter.
We can almost imagine Ida McFaddin, impeccably dressed, sitting at her writing table to compose a letter on her Royal typewriter. As she would have wanted everything “just so,” we envision her there with this cup and saucer filled with perfectly-brewed tea. Crown Staffordshire China Company, Ltd., Burslem, England.
The act of sitting down to write a letter may be somewhat lost on younger generations, but we history-lovers cannot help but smile when a hand-written note comes in the mail on beautiful stationery. This hand-embroidered Montag writing paper belonged to Mamie McFaddin. Montag paper was popular during the 1950s and 60s and was often given for special occasions, or even Christmas.
No writing desk was complete without a beautiful pen. This Waterman’s fountain pen, ca. 1920-30, had a metal “lever filler” on the reservoir.
This postal scale, ca. 1950, was made in England. Back before dashing off quick text messages or emails was possible, letters–oftentimes, very lengthy–were written, especially if there was a lot of news to include; often they took more than one stamp. This postal scale had counterweights that indicated the weight of the letter, letting the writer know how much postage to use to ensure that it reached its destination.