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Author Topic:   Letter opener
Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 01-22-2006 12:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a page cutter/bookmark by Shiebler. Even though it is from ca 1885, it looks very modern and ahead of its time. Has anybody seen anything similar?

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June Martin
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Posts: 1223
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 01-22-2006 01:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, that's a great piece. Never seen another piece like it. How big is it?

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Posts: 1939
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 01-22-2006 01:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, very handsome!

How big is it? Are there two blades, one long and one short? I wonder if that could have something to do with using it to slit the uncut pages of a new book as well as, or instead of, to open envelopes? This is just a wild guess.

Does anyone know when envelopes became common? Early on, people would write on a paper and seal it shut, without a separate envelope. Did the invention of letter openers coincide with the rise of envelopes?

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 01-22-2006 01:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is 5 1/4" long.

The two blades seem to be there so it works as a bookmark.

[This message has been edited by Paul Lemieux (edited 01-22-2006).]

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Posts: 963
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 01-22-2006 02:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tmockait     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The purpose of the item might provide the outside date for when it could have been made. When did publishers stop producing books whose pages required cutting? "The Great Gatsby" has a reference to books whose pages needed cutting (1920s), but I am not sure when publishing changed how they produced books.

Mass produced, standard sized envelopes seem to date to 1840. Prior to that they were hand-made to fit the paper that went in them. Gum for sealing the envelope seems to been developed later.


[This message has been edited by tmockait (edited 01-22-2006).]

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