Letter

THE MYSTERY BEHIND THE FIRST HANDWRITTEN LETTER REVEALS

Ever wondered who wrote the first alphabets to make a sentence or even wrote the first handwritten letter to pass on a message or confession? Not, really right? Normally one might give it a thought but would not exactly know who it was.
We all at some point in time might have been inquisitive to know about the historic day when the first handwritten letter was introduced but did not pay much heed as history is not really everyone’s cup of tea.
To your surprise, this milestone has an interesting story behind its commencement. As one of the oldest inventions practiced even today, handwritten letters marked their existence way back in 500 BC.
It is these handwritten notes, letters, stories etc, have been the real rather factual evidence those stand as true proves of the tradition, era, generation etc, of any clan, species or race.
With the help of handwritten notes, hand-drawn images we know about the medieval times, practices, people and how the earth evolved over decades and centuries to become what it is today.

To dig back into the history of handwritten letters let us explore the olden days of how the exchange of information or even preserving of memories used to take place. According to the records, people used to carve rocks, wood and drew figures on clays. They even used different kinds of metals on which they used to carve figures and images related to what they wanted people to see or know.
It is said that it was the Babylonian clan that drew astronomical creatures, images on bricks and clay according to their observations. On the other hand, the Chinese people used the stones to express their thoughts or any kind of event or behavior in order to tell or inform people about such things. These pieces of evidence were a good source to study the time period, events and people’s behavior during that time period.

The historical record claims that Hellanicus was the first person who recorded a handwritten letter by the name epistle written by Persian Queen Atossa daughter of Syrus, mother of Xerxes around 500 BC.
Slowly with writing becoming an important part of people, the tree bark and leaves were used as papers to write. Linden tree was considered as one of the most useful trees to write on. The Egyptians during that time created the papyrus because of which the ancient libraries of Alexandria and Pergamum came into being.

Seeing the credibility of it, the papyrus became a popular writing material for all and became a mandatory rather the ruling material in the East pushing the West side to come up with alternative materials like Vellum and Parchment produced from animal skins in order to cover up for the scarcity of the material. Another material like boc known as the bark of the beech tree and much more like this were also introduced as a substitute material for writing. The pen with which a person would write on these materials was of varied kinds wood, metal or bone shaped to a point. The surprising part was that the lead pencil was first used in ancient Greece which was only used to mark points and erase later. Who knew this invention whose importance was realized during the 14th century would now be one of the most demanded writing tools today.

Indeed 14th century was a milestone year in the history of writing as during that time paper was introduced along with the pencil.
Now comes the scene that triggers when and how did the first posting of lettertake place?
Initially, the Roman Emperor Trajan ordered chariots to be parked at regular intervals of his kingdom to take charge of delivering important documents or papers of people. This was tedious yet not a very reliable source. Later on, another way was practiced by people and it was through courier, coach or horse rider. The person receiving the letter was supposed to pay after receiving and the letter was sealed with wax or some other element to maintain secrecy.
As this process also demanded alterations finally after 1840 Great Britain introduced the postage stamp system. It included two types of stamps – penny black stamp and two penny blue stamp depending on the urgency and importance of the document. This, later on, started to be practiced in other countries too.
This brought in a major evolution in the world of writing and postal services which is an inevitable part of our lives. So, next time one sits to write something, recall how this gift of writing came to us from our ancestors and cherish their efforts.

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