I’ve read books where the intrepid hero has to reuse brown paper the mercantile owner used to wrap a purchase in order to leave the heroine an all-important note. I read another novel where a would-be bride’s employer deducted the cost of paper and envelope from her wages. Was paper that expensive? Did expense translate to scarcity?
Were pencils common in Old West households? How early were pencils invented?
Would you be surprised to learn mechanical pencils were invented and in vogue mid-nineteenth century?