V-Mail stationery ink bottle
Vibrant yellow, black, and red paperboard box contains a four-ounce glass bottle of Sheaffer’s V-Black Skrip ink. Skrip was a leading brand for the ink, pen, and pencil manufacturer W A Sheaffer Pen Company of Ft Madison, Iowa and Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which during the Second World War packaged the V-Black, Number V4, ink marketing it towards use with V-Mail stationery. The label proclaiming, “photographs best,” refers to the microfilm processing of V-Mail correspondence. Stationery suppliers and the US government encouraged letter writers to use V-Mail for military service members overseas because it reduced the bulk of mail to reels of 16 mm film, which were shipped via air transport to processing centers closest to the addressees. Because the letters were photographed and then reproduced for delivery at only a quarter of the original size, legibility was essential. Informational articles and advertising campaigns for the V-Mail service explained the process and the need for good penmanship with dark ink or pencils.