Today, in a coffeehouse or an airport, and other places as well, people work on laptops and netbooks. In 1895, you could buy a “pocket inkstand.” One in the Montgomery Ward & Co. mail-order catalog (republished in 1969 by Dover Publications) had a screw top and promised that it could not leak, which would certainly ruin your clothes.
The catalog suggests that this is good for tourists. I suppose you could write “picture postcards” and keep a travel journal, writing while sightseeing. Within ten years, the Brownie camera would change the way ordinary people recorded their vacations.
If you were in business or teaching, you could order a portable blackboard, even a cloth one you could roll up, stick in a bag, and use anywhere.
3 thoughts on “Office Supplies On the Go in 1895”
I am a fountain pen fanatic, so I love any info about pens, ink, inkwell. In fact I did a quick search online and found one drawing and 2 photos of travel inkstands from the 1800s Here they are:
A drawing of a travel pocket instand
Small 1855 Pocket Inkwell
Beatiful inkwell for travels (very long url be sure to get it all even the dashes)
Those pictures are cool, Penny! The first one, patented in 1901, looks like a regular pen, with the ink in the pen. The inventor calls the pen a “travel pocket inkstand.” A great invention, though.
Very cool, and I love Penny’s contribution (the third is my favorite). We’d be the envy of all the other travelers.