History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Fun for Friday: Letterlocking

Example of a locked letterInstead of the usual prompts or etymology this week, I’m sharing a neat article that I found on Atlas Obscura about letterlocking. In a time before there were envelopes, this was the technique used to keep letters secure from prying eyes, or at least to alert the recipient if the letter they were receiving had been tampered with. It reminds me of the elaborate ways we used to fold our notes in grade school and high school, but even better, because letterlocking actually was a security feature, not just a clever way to sneak your notes around the classroom.

Different authors used different techniques of letterlocking, and some may have even had unique styles that were not replicated. The Atlas Obscura article talks more about the people studying letterlocking and all of the neat things they’ve found in the process of their study.


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