In an increasingly connected world, with the world at our fingertips by way of screens and buttons, there is an art that is slowly fading into nonexistence. The world used to function and be run by the written word. Calligraphy and such arts are now only practiced by a few, and now schools are ceasing the instruction of cursive handwriting. Yes, we live in the future now, and just as humans once evolved from writing with ash and fingers on walls to writing with ink and writing quills on parchment scroll paper, texting and typing seems to be the next step. But there are those who choose to hang on to the beauty of old traditions, and revel in collecting aged remnants or replicas of the old tools of old times.
From scroll invitation paper to feather ink pens
When many people think of their dream homes, there is often one thing in common that also differs. Many people have in their ideal vision of their home, a room that is different from all the others, meant specifically to house a certain passion, hobby, or interest. The idea of the room itself is the similarity, but the rest is about differences. Some people dream of a game room, whether it’s billiards and darts or video games and virtual realities. Others want a craft or scrapbooking room, or a place to put medals, awards, and trophies, or an elaborate library, or a simple sunroom. For those with a passion for the written word, this room could take the form of an old study, complete with vintage office accessories like custom wax seals, scroll invitation paper, and a feather quill pen with ink to dip it in.
Celebrating tradition with scroll invitation paper
It has been estimated that about 20% of children in the United Kingdom has never been on the receiving end of a letter that has been fully handwritten. Writing by hand has become so behind the times. Everything is done on computers or in some other digital way. Imagine if one of those kids received a parchment scroll invitation paper requesting their presence at a birthday party or other such event. Receiving handwritten notes and letters has always brought a wonderful feeling for the recipient, and now that it is even more rare, that wonderful feeling would be that much more amplified.
Keeping tradition alive
Over the course of one year, there were 141 billion letters mailed. That sounds like a lot, and it is, but when you consider how many people there are, and the fact that likely not all of those were nicely handwritten and personal, one would have to guess that that number is nowhere near as high as it probably once was, now that everyone is electronically connected. In fact the United States Postal Service found in their annual survey that in 2010, an average home would only get a personal letter one time in every seven weeks. Not too incredibly long before that, in 1987, the average home was receiving a personal letter one time each two weeks. It may not seem like a valuable skill to hang on to or to teach new generations, but it is interesting to think about what writing might evolve into next.
Children are already missing out on cursive. Will there come a time that younger generations will not be able to read the “ancient” script that was cursive? And what will the new norms become over time? Will our language change as our ability to manually draw out the letters that are the building blocks of that language wanes?
Times are changing, that is true. But even though we are rapidly advancing into a future full of technology and gizmos and gadgets that we never thought we would see outside of science fiction stories, there is a love for tradition as well. We will continue to advance. But there will also be those who hang on to the traditions that connect us. In the United States, National Handwriting Day is celebrated on January 23, which is John Hancock’s birthday. If handwriting ever dies out completely, it will not be any time soon.