Reading and Writing
Tunbridge Ware for Reading and Writing
Literacy amongst the British public advanced dramatically during the Victorian age in tandem with the new postal system as did the sale of portable writing slopes alongside writing accessories and reading materials
Introduced by Rowland Hill in 1840 with the now prepaid low cost ‘Penny Post’ alternative saw the number of letters sent the UK double in the first year and doubled yet again within a decade. Prior to 1840 those receiving mail had been responsible for payment.
The makers of Tunbridge Ware capitalised upon the growing demand not only writing slopes, sometimes referred to as desk boxes, but also other essentials for both the home office including paper knives, stamp boxes , inkstands, desk thermometers, blotters pen trays and much more
Makers of desk lamps were also to benefit from an age that at its peak by 1889 was able to offer twelve posts a day in London. This enabled those in receipt of the first post of the day at 7.30am to send a reply and receive a response from the initial sender that same evening by 7.30pm. Currently "Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells" rarely receives the single daily post on time.
People also read far more extensively than they do today. This also caught the attention of the manufactories of Tunbridge Wells who produced reading stands, book ends, book marks, page turners and more in Tunbridge ware.