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Mailing Containers

V-Mail stationery

Description:

The blue fiberboard box contains V-Mail stationery produced by the Wessel Company of Chicago, Illinois. The large red “V” and the letter’s “..._” Morse code designation advertise the product’s patriotic association with America’s war efforts.

During the Second World War private companies with postal permits manufactured V-Mail letter sheets meeting strict specifications for printing and paper quality. The 8.5 by 11 inch page had to be of uniform weight, grade, and grain in order to properly work in the microfilm machinery that reduced V-Mail for speedy and lightweight shipping to and from soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen serving overseas. The permit number was generally placed in the bottom right margin; in this case, it is number 1.

Such V-Mail supplies were widely sold in neighborhood stores and helped quickly expand the distribution of the specialized letter writing materials. To further encourage Americans to use V-Mail, the Post Office Department and the military made the stationery available for free to the armed forces and civilians. Patrons could get two sheets per day from their local post office. The Government Printing Office (GPO) produced this free stationery and marked it with the agency’s name.

Date:
c. 1942-1945
Markings:
UNITES STATES / Official / V...- / V-MAIL / Envo-Letters* / 48 COMBINATION SHEETS AND ENVELOPES; Vertically on right top side of box cover: "FOR RUSH PHOTOGRAPHIC MAIL TO OUR ARMED FORCES OVERSEAS"; On bottom facing tab of box lid: "NO. 148 - THE FORTRESS / PRODUCT OF THE WESSEL COMPANY, CHICAGO / *Trade mark Registered U.S. Patent Office"
Medium:
paper; cardboard; ink
Dimensions:
Other (.78.1-.43): 23.5 x 14.3cm (9 1/4 x 5 5/8in.) Other (.78.44): 24.1 x 3.2 x 16.2cm (9 1/2 x 1 1/4 x 6 3/8in.)
Museum ID:
2007.2004.78.1-.44
Place:
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Place of Origin:
Chicago, Illinois

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