How long ago did you happen to write a letter with a pen on a piece of paper? Now it can sound curious, but till the 1980s it was the only way to write a letter. Some of you might recollect the process—you should buy an envelope and stamps, write a letter and fold it. A letter written on a sheet from an exercise book did not fit inside because of its extra width —you had to fold the paper edge. Then, you should lick the stamp and the flap of the envelope, stick the stamp and seal the envelope. Bring the letter to the post box and drop it into the aperture. Post offices worked leisurely—letters might have been on the way for one or two weeks.
And if the matter is urgent?
A telegram! “COMING STOP WILL BE TOMORROW 20”.
Business correspondence was also organized using paper letters and telegrams. At the Museum-Study of Bruno Pontecorvo, there is a long shelf with his correspondence— incoming letters and copies of outgoing ones. Written by hand or typed on a typewriter.
You can examine all of them, take, look through, imagine a receiver or a sender holding these pieces of paper…
And what of our electronic mails will be left behind? Will they dissolve in time along with us and our mailbox passwords? Maybe, our most important letters are worth to be printed out on this eternal paper for our descendants to remember? ;)