Dated: Oct . 21 . 11 .
Addressed to: Miss E. Nelson, Belhaven, Ont., My Dearest Ethel
Mailed from: Grand Coulee, Sask.
Writing instrument: Pencil
Writing Paper: Thick, textured, linen-like paper, 9 inches x 6.5 inches. Paper is folded in half and written in booklet form with the inside paper turned sideways and written across the short side for the full length. Noah hasn't numbered the pages, but he has written them in the order that I've shown them below.
People/places mentioned in this letter:
- Percys - Noah's brother, *Percy Draper
- Louies - Noah's sister, *Louie (*Sarah Louise) & husband, *Fred Coventry
- Stan & May - Stanley *Mahoney and Mae Anderson - friends/neighbors
**Beating or Bettie or Bready ???
Places/things mentioned in this letter:
- drawing wheat - threshing without using a threshing outfit
* Look under the Categories/Labels in the right side column for more posts on this
person/place/thing. If you don't see a label, use the search box at the top of page.
** see Genealogy Notes below
Written up the side:
So Say I addressed
three weeks ago.
Grand Coulee Sask.
Oct. 21. 11.
Miss. E. Nelson
My Dearest Ethel; -
Well another week has
gone by. & it brings me that
much nearer my hearts desire.
the time seems to pass but
I dont seem to get much done
on account of rainy weather
I tell you Ethel I struck a
good week for threshing the
gang I had left a week a
go last night & have been
at Beating ____ farm for
3 days threshing I see they
finished there last xxxx
night but part of the men
are still there. they go back to Percys
from there to thresh oats about
1/2 day I guess.
Say Ethel you will have to excuse
the pencil but I told you
before I was out of ink & I never
think of it when I am at the
store. Was down last night but
did not get a letter from you
& was so dissapointed I forgot
to get bread so have to eat
biscuits today. ha. ha.
Say I was in town last night
after fruit got a couple of boxes of
plumbs 2 baskets of grapes & a box
of crab apples. quite an asortment
eh. bet you will say I know
how to can fruit when you get
a taste of them. Ha. Ha.
Say I guess I am going down to
Louies after church this morning
wish you were here to go along
it seems like ten years since I
left Belhaven so you dont
want to be surprised if you see
me an old man this winter.
But never mind if I am maby I will
get young a gain next summer. eh.
Oh say Ethel guess I will
not get out to shoot geese
after all the rain last week
stoped me drawing wheat
so I have to do it this week
have about two day s yet I
guess but enough other work
to keep ten men going until
it freezes up. & that wont be
very long now if the weather
Oh say you never told me
who got your box at the big
social & what kind of a
time you had. Suppose Stan
& May are back by this time
and she has changed her name.
Well Ethel I guess I will
have to close. and getready
for church. so good by. love and
kisses xx N.C.D.
I love the way Noah wrote about going to the store for ink and being so disappointed by not receiving a letter from Ethel that he even forgot to buy bread. That got me thinking about what kind of ink Noah would have used in 1911...
Wikipedia states, Progress in developing a reliable pen was slow until the mid-19th century, because of an imperfect understanding of the role that air pressure plays in the operation of pens and because most inks were highly corrosive and full of sedimentary inclusions...
Then in 1832, Dr. Henry Stephens (1796–1864) invented an indelible "blue-black writing fluid" which became the famous Stephens' Ink around the world.
In the information part of my 1911 Courtship Letter posts, I always include the type of writing instrument and paper used. Usually, I've said it was black ink that faded to a grey or bluey-grey until the pen was dipped in the ink. After researching ink and pens, I now know that the pens weren't dipped, but filled with ink, and that all ink was a blue-black to start with.
Ink was sold in bottles and then poured into inkwells with a hinged or screwed-on lids to prevent:
- accidental spillage; and
- excessive exposure to air
Inkwells were as expensive or cheap as a person could afford, depending on the material used in manufacturing. Clear or blue glass inkwells similar to the one on the right are the kind I've found at most museums and forts out here in Western Canada.
- Fountain Pen Maintenance http://youtu.be/OxH5VS9BeO8
- Filling Mechanisms http://youtu.be/tMNxzOFJ5fw
Noah writes on page 1, "have been at Beating ____ farm for 3 days threshing"
Page 1 looks like a mess because of the multiple images which look like they may have been caused by old-fashioned carbon copy paper, or perhaps just someone fooling around. We'll never know for sure. However, I spent some time trying to decipher what he meant by the Beating farm.
I pulled up the 1911 census record for Noah in Grand Coulee and then checked the pages around it. I found one messy entry for a name which the transcriber listed as BETTIE but to me looked like BATTIY...