Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Medium:
paper; cardboard; ink
Dimensions:
Overall: 24.8 x 15.2 x 2.9cm (9 3/4 x 6 x 1 1/8in.)
Type:
Postal Stationery
Place of Origin:
Cleveland, Ohio
Place:
United States of America
Date:
c. 1942-1945
Description:
The white fiberboard box contains V-Mail stationery produced by the Wolf Envelope Company of Cleveland, Ohio. The large red “V” and the letter’s “..._” Morse code designation advertise the product’s patriotic association with America’s war efforts.
During the Second World War private companies with postal permits manufactured V-Mail letter sheets meeting strict specifications for printing and paper quality. The 8.5 by 11 inch page had to be of uniform weight, grade, and grain in order to properly work in the microfilm machinery that reduced V-Mail for speedy and lightweight shipping to and from soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen serving overseas. The permit number was generally placed in the bottom right margin; in this case, it is number 15.
Such V-Mail supplies were widely sold in neighborhood stores and helped quickly expand the distribution of the specialized letter writing materials. To further encourage Americans to use V-Mail, the Post Office Department and the military made the stationery available for free to the armed forces and civilians. Patrons could get two sheets per day from their local post office. The Government Printing Office (GPO) produced this free stationery and marked it with the agency’s name.
Associated Event:
World War II  Search this
Topic:
World War II (1939-1945)  Search this
Object number:
2007.2004.86
See more items in:
National Postal Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Postal Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npm_2007.2004.86