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Vintage Writing Paper & Envelopes

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by Davep, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. Davep

    Davep One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    221
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I working on a mail call project, I able to make custom V-Mail recreations. Now I was to make handwritten letters. What I'm stuck on is what sort of paper should I be looking for?
     
  2. MPicciotto

    MPicciotto Practically Family

    Messages:
    771
    Location:
    Eastern Shore, MD
    I scour yard sales and flea markets for old reems of typewriter paper. Also Kmart and I'm sure other 'Mart's carry "Resume Kits" with nice high cloth content paper and envelopes. I'm curious about your V-mail will you share more or is it proprietary? I have some original blank Vmail but I found it copied very badly because the paper had grayed.

    Matt
     
  3. Spatterdash

    Spatterdash A-List Customer

    Messages:
    310
    I was always under the impression that good linen rag was a quality paper, for ink, sealing wax, that sort of thing - cold-press with minimal tooth so the pen nib doesn't skip, and archival (acid free) so it has durability.

    I may be misremebering the details. Give it some time. The Fountain Pen Guild will arrive shortly with far more specific advice, no doubt.
     
  4. Davep

    Davep One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    221
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I'm working on a mail call, complete with v-mails and regular envelope mail from home. I just don't want a bundle of mail which is only v-mails, I want to mix in regular letters. I'm thinking of printing the letters onto the writing paper, very faint, and then with a fountain pen writing over it, to make it look orginal yet hold true. I have letter from Donna Reed to a soldier, which I going to experiment with.

    V-Mail, as you know as it was received, wasn't on those nice "blank" e-mail forms, but reduced to microfilm and then later printed. To create v-mail for a barracks impression of just to past out requires the making of the v-mail and the envelope.

    Envelope
    Here I purchased some orginal v-mails off ebay, they are real cheap $1.00 to $2.00 a piece. I then took one of envelope and split it out to make a template. Next I scanned the envelope and cleaned up the postmark and other printing, so I have an image I can use elsewhere, for example to postmark on re-create regular envelope mail.

    I print the template on a light brown colored paper, glue it together and there you have it your on "original" v-mail envelope

    V-Mail
    Here I have two approaches, one simply scan real v-mails, and the photoshop out the "to" name out. And then Photoshop the name of a guy in my unit in. There are several places on the internet to get "handwriting fonts".

    The other approach is simply create "new originals" in photo shop on a v-mail template I have.

    Both the envelope and v-mail template "examples" are shown below. Becuase printers used very high resolution PPI or DPI, the images below are only examples. PM me with your e-mail address and I send you both. Because the v-mail are reduced you maybe able to use the v-mail image and reduce it. But as of now only the envelope template is to side (pdf version, not the image below)

    But here is a niffy set of templates, and a simple piece of software another reenactor put togther. There are two templates for envelopes. and a utilitiy that allows you to create the V-Mail in typed, printing, or handwriting.

    http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?emjmxdmxy2j


    Note the handwritting is a computer handwriting font
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  5. MPicciotto

    MPicciotto Practically Family

    Messages:
    771
    Location:
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Davep,

    WOW!! Your V-mail reproductions look really nice. I'm working on a Chaplains/Chaplains Aide impression and have some original unused Vmail in the ready to be written on by civilians "For rush photographic mail to our armed forces overseas" Was the blank Vmail form for soldiers writing home the same? Those are the ones I was trying to copy with little success. The printing is in red, the paper has yellowed, so color copies are an abysmal failure, black and white capture the concept, but just don't totally do it justice. I'm hoping at one of the shows to provide stationary and vmail forms etc to "the boys of the squadron to write home". Also not to hijack your thread but maybe some body peering in here will have an answer. I'm looking for letters Chaplains would have written family members concerning their loved ones being killed, wounded or missing. Not the War Department telegram, but the personal note sent by the chaplain (if there is such a thing, I've heard but not seen myself).

    Matt
     
  6. Davep

    Davep One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    221
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Yeah reproducing copies by scanned or photocopy is a pain, because the scanners pick-up a lot of color you don't want. I went through and cleared all the unwanted "pixels" of color I didn't want. But your best bet, is to recreated the form from scratch, on the computer using the proper matching fonts and colors. Something which you need Photoshop or the lite version Photoshop Elements.

    Here is an example of LIFE Cover, all made from scratch see below but photographer in the 101st (CHG). This was his first draft, note the LIFE font is incorrect in this version. But you get the idea that it is easier to recreated an origianal than to fuss with a scanned orginal. Although we do have a nice YANK Logo that we got scanned by a professional, so it looks totally clean and orginal to color


    For others interested in the topic

    That red-vmail form, is normal size. That it what the soldier or those back home would write on. But those are not what was sent to the soldiers, or back home.

    All of those regular sized forms, where microfilmed, and then the microfilm not the letters were sent overseas. At the other size the microfilmed letters were printed on small pieces of paper. Accordingly the orginal letter gets very reduced by still readable. It is this small version which the recieving party gets. They never see the red-vmail form.

    The actual received version is on;y 4.5 inches wide and about 5.5 inches tall. So you can see they are actually quite small. The envelope is also small.

    Chaplan's impression

    A good book is the GI Collector Guide - Volume 2, they have some great pictures of all the items you would need.

    Also do you have or seen a "heart shield Bible". These were very nice. It was a pocket size bible with a metal plate over the cover.



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