Writing Supplies

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1:59 AM 2/16/2022

   Penmanship was a sign of education in early America; having a “fine hand” was highly regarded as an indicator of civility and was actually more important to many people than was correct spelling or proper grammar! With this in mind, much time was devoted to developing a personal flourish that would be recognized as unique to an individual. Probably the best known signature from early America is that of John Hancock who had spent several years studying good penmanship at the school of Abdiah Holbrook in Boston. Even today John Hancock’s signature is so well known that sometimes people will ask to “put your John Hancock on the dotted line” meaning to write your signature. The following supplies are representative of some of the materials used in writing letters and documents in early America.



WS-001  Writing Paper   was expensive and sometimes hard to find on the frontier in America’s early years. Our paper is a light brown color similar to that of parchment or hand-laid paper. Comes 15 sheets to a packet, each piece measures 8 ˝ x 11 inches.   $2.00

WS-002  Quill Pen    Made from domestic turkey feathers, these quill pens are handy to use and cut in the same manner as has been done for centuries. Remember - the key to successful writing with a quill pen is a light touch. We suggest that you keep in mind the phrase “Light as a feather” as you practice this form of writing. With practice, the user can easily write four or five words before having to dip back into the inkwell.   $2.50

WS-003  Black Pocket Ink    Finely powdered black ink that requires only warm water to produce a fine quality writing media. Producing the right ink for you will require a minimum of experimentation. We suggest that you start out with no more than a tablespoonful of water into which you sprinkle a few grains of the powdered ink. Add more ink until desired color is achieved.   $1.00

WS-022   Red Pocket Ink    Now available, powdered red ink which can be as easily mixed as our black ink. Available in the same type of “pocket,” this ink gives you the option of having two colors for writing your journal notes and letters. Some events just have to be recorded as “red letter days!”    $1.00



WS-004  Horn Pen    Steel-pointed pen with a lathe-turned horn body. The point or nib is removable for cleaning, storage, or travel.   $5.00
WS-005  Wood Pen    Steel-pointed pen with a lathe-turned wood body similar to the WS-004 Horn Pen. The point or nib of this pen can be removed for cleaning, storage, or travel.   out of stock


WS-009  Clear Glass Inkpot    Early American style inkwell has an attractive silver-plated hinged cap.   $10.00


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WS-010  Cobalt Glass Inkpot    This little inkwell is ideal for boxed writing sets or lap desks. It has a bright metal lid with a friction fit snap to keep the lid closed.   $10.00

WS-011  Round Cobalt Glass Inkpot    This inkwell measures about 3 inches in diameter and is the largest inkwell that we stock. It has a hinged, silver-plated cap and is well suited for use on a full sized desk or writing table.   $12.00



WS-024  Small LePorte Crayon    This writing and drawing instrument was first recorded in use during the Renaissance and has been in continuous use ever since. It consists of a 4-inch brass tube with compression rings on either end which tightly hold sharpened pieces of graphite. This is a very handy instrument for note keeping in the field. It was used in the past by journalists, tradesmen, engineers (it easily marks on wood and rock) and artists. Conti chalk can be substituted by you for the graphite if you would like to add color to your sketches. (Conti is available through many art supply stores.) In a pinch, a lead musket ball can be hammered to shape and used in place of the graphite. And, of course, if you are very wealthy, a lump of pure silver can be hammered into shape and inserted in the Crayon for writing purposes! (no longer available with one end loaded with red graphite.)   $20.00

WS-018  Wood and Metal Seal    After you have written your historic letter or penned your official document, the proper way to ensure that only the intended recipient of your text is the one who reads it is to fold the paper and seal it with a wax seal. The two seals that we offer here are real beauties with turned wood handles and cast metal bases. The seals are offered in two styles: a French fleur de lis and a Scottish/English thistle.   $10.00


WS-020.JPG WS-020  Red Sealing Wax    Using sealing wax to seal your documents is the proper way to finish your writing project in an historic fashion. Our sealing wax has just the right amount of shellac in it to ensure that your seal will remain intact until the recipient breaks it to read what you have written. To use, simply heat the wax stick over a candle flame until it begins to soften and flow. Then, rub or drip a small amount onto the document and apply your seal. If you are unfamiliar with this process, it is best to practice on a scrap of paper first. Sealing wax is brittle and the sticks often break in transit – whether in shipping from us or in your own travels. This does not mean the wax is no good! You can either heat the broken ends and stick them back together or use the short pieces as they are. When pieces become too short to safely handle, “glue” them together by heating the ends, sticking them together making one piece out of several short pieces. Children should be supervised by an adult when using sealing wax.   $2.00 per stick

WS-021  Taking Stock    The original painting was by Diana Mueller of Chester, Illinois. The picture brought so many comments that Jude decided to have it made into note cards for those who would like a note card reminiscent of an 18th century shop. Eight cards and envelopes.    $5.00

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