|Frith, The Railway Station 1866|
Last time, I talked about penmanship. Today, I offer a look at letter-writing, another lost art. I was, as any nerdy history person would imagine, thrilled to find the Correct Guide to Letter Writing (4th ed, 1889), which covers letters for virtually all occasions, including a marriage proposal From a Widower with grown-up Daughters to a Young Lady (and acceptance and rejection letters for same); a letter From a Young Man to his Guardian, asking for an increased Allowance; one from From a Butler to his Master, giving Notice; and one From a Lady, promising to sing at an Afternoon Tea.
|Lost Luggage Letters|
The two letters displayed here, complaining about lost luggage, show that this phenomenon didn't begin with airline luggage. I’ll bet anything there are Egyptian hieroglyphs and Roman tablets complaining about lost luggage. Some of those pictures carved on cave walls probably express some Neolithic ancient ancestor’s dismay about his misplaced mastodon skin.
Llangollen station on the w:Llangollen Railway, a heritage line in north Wales. Photographed from the town bridge over the River Dee (Afon Ddyfrdwy), by Chris Mckenna, 2005, courtesy Wikipedia.
William Powell Frith, The Railway Station. Engraving by Francis Holl (after Frith) 1866, courtesy Wikipedia.
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