A Brief History of Envelopes

Envelopes are necessities that we take for granted nowadays. Life would sure be more complicated if they were not around. Envelopes are made from paper or paper like material. They are constructed in a pouch like form with a flap attached and adhesive around the edges that seals the opening. Some have long attached strings or metal device fasteners to secure the envelope. They come in various sizes and various grades of paper. For example, envelopes are can range from small size of 3.5 x 6 inches, to legal size# 10 of 4-1/8 x 9-1/2 inches, and to large size of 9 x 12 inches or larger. Envelopes come in array of colors from lipstick red to midnight black and can be purchase just about anywhere from local drug stores to department stores and online at economical prices. The envelopes we use today were called ready made envelopes from yesteryears.

Before the invention of ready made envelopes by machines, letters were folded and sealed with a bonding agent or stationary clerks would make envelopes by hand daily. The postmaster would charge postage for each sheet of paper inside these handmade envelopes or for mail that were sealed with a bonding agent, because of limited availability of envelopes.

During the 1840s, readymade envelopes were manufactured to the masses with the use of the automatic envelope-folding machine. These readymade envelopes were very innovation, easy to use, very inexpensive, and very reliable in securing letters while en route. These readymade envelopes became a catalyst for the expansion of commercial business throughout the United States. They were responsible for the reduction in postal rates, because each sheet was not charged inside the envelope being sent out. The post rates were then based on the weight and distance. People were more willingly to use postal service regularly because of readymade envelopes and the new low rates.

Sarah Bellview really likes crafty invitations and she believes they deserve a good envelopes. She likes to use glassine envelopes to put colorful gifts in and she also loves to use translucent plastic envelopes to give a card a soft feminine look.

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