Admittedly, this is nowhere near the Golden Era, but I hope equally of interest to anyone who takes enjoyment from doing things in the difficult, old-fashioned style. (I make the usual apology to any moderator who thinks this is in the wrong forum!) The story is that before flat-rate postage and cheap envelopes, a letter would be folded in on and around itself to form a closed packet. It would then be sealed, often with wax, and often with a distinctive design identifying the author. The part that I didn't know, and seems largely to have been forgotten until recently, is that the letters were often cut and folded in especially intricate ways to foil interceptors. For example, a thin tail of paper might be cut out of the letter, then threaded through a slit in the other sheets before sealing, binding them tight. Other techniques used ribbon or string, also sealed with wax. There's a group of academic enthusiasts working through a collection of hundreds of seventeenth century dead letters, and doing their best to catalogue them, and promote interest in the topic. They run a website at letterlocking.org, from which I've borrowed these photos: Besides the historical significance of such techniques, it seems an excellent fit for the growing hobby of recreational letter-writing. The personal and tactile quality of a handwritten, sealed letter is what makes them worthwhile, so I'm going to have a go at learning to lock any letters I write as well. Has anyone else around here come across the idea, or tried it perhaps?