No sketching at Fort Nisqually today. I sewed and mended during my entire shift. However, I did advance my knowledge as an interpreter of sketching. D, one of the staff interpreters, brought in his writing kits to show me. He fixed one small writing desk and made a box to carry his tools. All very impressive.
I’ve not been happy with the cork stoppered bottle I am using for ink when I draw as an interpreter. D showed me the reproduction of a period travel ink well that he uses.
This is a much better solution. After some searching, I found one from an Etsy seller that I bought.
D also told me about a book in the Fort’s library. When I completed my sewing tasks, I went over and read through it and took some notes.
Fountain pens were invented earlier but were unreliable. Waterman developed a more reliable one and they became popular after 1885. Ink was made from lamp black, “gum” (Gum Arabic?) and water. Then formed into cakes or sticks. Vinegar replaced water to make the ink more permanent on paper. By the 18th and 19th centuries, ink was sold in bottles. Victorian travel inkwells were often a leather bound box holding a glass bottle.
In the additional resources section of this book was mentioned The Writing Equipment Society. Since the publication date of the book was 1980, I wondered whether this organization still existed. Indeed, it does!
Another resource is the Abbey House Museum in Kirkstall, Leeds (England, W. Yorkshire). When I lived in Leeds, I went to Kirkstall a few times. I’ll have to look back in my slides to see whether I went to the Museum. And then there is a Postal Museum in Bath.