Letter Writing in 1870

Esterbrook_356-357-358The most common form of communication during Stephen's academic career was letter writing. He spends as much on supplies, stamps and a post office box as he does on the croquet set.

His correspondence cache includes paper, envelopes and India ink. India ink contains permanent dyes that withstand the wet weather in New York state. The picture above is an Esterbrook nib common in 1870. 

The sharp tip and indelible ink surely present a challenge for his left-handed writing. It is probable he had dark stains on his fingers.

I imagine he wrote his family in Binghamton often.