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Saturday, February 9, 2013

What was a laptop or "iPAD" called in the 19th century?

Author John O'Connell has written an excellent little book entitled For the Love of Letters: the Joy of Slow Communication (Marble Arch Press, 2012). He talks writing an actual letter (not typing another email) to a friend or loved one. Like we used to do. I still produce printed-on-paper photographic greeting cards and add a personal note with my Cross fountain pen. Comments from people who receive them indicate they are very much appreciated and lot more meaningful and long-lasting than an electronic burp.

Because writing a letter - or anything - was the only way to do it a couple hundred years ago, "writing boxes" were an appreciated gift. O'Connell writes: "Writing boxes were the laptops or tablets of the 19th century. Jane Austen's is thought to have been bought for her by her father in December, 1784, had a leather writing slope, space for two inkwells and compartments for pens, stamps, sealing wax, and other needs. Lockable, secret drawers were a common feature." No passwords! Actually, this little item sounds like something I wouldn't mind having today. It might get me back to writing more of those always-appreciated paper notes.

For more information and/or to order Mr. O'Connell's book, click the Amazon link below:


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