Thursday, 20 August 2009

How we used to do it...Letter...27th April 1945

Letter...27th April 1945, originally uploaded by Octoberchild....

A question I ask myself when writing with vintage pens is this...did the letter writers of the 30's, 40's, 50's actually write with a fountain pen? Did they use a dip pen? Did they use pencil?

Most correspondence I've seen from those years, would suggest that the latter can be ruled out. They did use ink pens, but whether they were of the fountain or dip variety, I can't be sure.

The pen in the picture is one of my favourite Conway Stewart 286's. These were in production from the very late 1920's up till the latter half of the 1940's. The model shown, is actually a later example, and could certainly have been used to write the featured letter, in 1945.

The date on this letter, is just three days before Hitler commited suicide, and just two weeks (give or take) before VE day on the 8th May 1945, when the Allies accepted the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany...

If you know anyone who might be old enough...why not ask them what they wrote with, in those turbulent times. Who's ink did they use. What colours? Who's writing paper? Do they have any old letters you could have a look at? Do they still have the pens?

Then, let me know...

Best viewed as a larger image.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

How we used to do it...Autograph album...10th July 1945.

Another page from Ms. Richardson's album, which was added at a time when there was rationing in the UK.
Pieces of fabric have been cut out and glued to the page in the shape of a dress, and an ink drawing added to the top.
The inscription reads "No coupons required". A nice bit of humour, from hard times.
What I love about this book, is that the friendships are remembered by the words people have chosen to write, or the little art works they have created.

Monday, 10 August 2009

How we used to do it...Autograph album...4th March 1941

While collecting vintage fountain pens, and using them to write with, I invariably wonder who was the first person to write with them...and what did they write. Letters, journals, schoolwork, or something like this.
This is an autograph album, which was presented to a Jean Shirley Richardson, with love from her daddy, in 1941. The page on the left would appear to be signatures of her classmates, and the page on the right an entry by Enid Reid on the 4th of March 1941. It reads;
"Your album is your garden plot,
Where all your friends may sow,
Where thorns and thistles flourish not,
And nought but flowers grow.
I too within your garden plot,
Would plant one seed.
Forget - me - not."
What an absolutely charming way to have recorded all your friends along the way, and it makes me wonder why we don't seem to do this anymore.

Best viewed as a larger image.