The Importance of Personal Letters
The nature of writing has been constantly evolving, particularly due to the development of new technologies over the centuries. The pen, the printing press, the computer and the mobile phone are all technological developments which have altered what is written, and the medium through which the written word is produced. Particularly with the advent of digital technologies, namely the computer and the mobile phone, characters can be formed by the press of a button, rather than making the physical motion with the hand.
The earliest means of writing that approached pen and paper as we know them today was developed by the Greeks. They employed a writing stylus, made of metal, bone or ivory, to place marks upon wax-coated tablets. The tablets made in hinged pairs, closed to protect the scribe's notes. The first examples of handwriting (purely text messages made by hand) originated in Greece. The Grecian scholar, Cadmus invented the written letter - text messages on paper sent from one individual to another. The oldest known fountain pen that has survived today was designed by a Frenchmen named M. Bion and dated 1702.
The breakthrough in pencil technology came when French chemist Nicolas Conte developed and patented the process used to make pencils in 1795. He used a mixture of clay and graphite that was fired before it was put in a wooden case. The pencils he made were cylindrical with a slot. The square lead was glued into the slot and a thin strip of wood was used to fill the rest of the slot. Pencils got their name from the old English word meaning 'brush'. Conte's method of kiln firing powdered graphite and clay allowed pencils to be made to any hardness or softness - very important to artists and draftsmen. In 1989, Binney & Smith, best known for its Crayola products, and the leading children's marker manufacturer, enters into a licensing agreement for exclusive rights to the Magic Marker brand name... In 1991, after...