Using V-Mail

V-Mail letter sheets were designed to make the microfilming process easy. The distinguishing marks and uniform size of V-Mail stationery helped workers gather the folded letter sheets for their special processing. All sheets were set to standard dimensions, weight, grain, and layout.

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The mailable stationery kit contains letter sheets and Sheaffer’s V-Black Skrip ink formulated for V-Mail.

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Sheaffer’s mailable stationery kit.

The materials were produced by the Government Printing Office as well as printing and stationery firms that had been issued permits by the Post Office Department. Multiple suppliers were used to get the V-Mail forms to the people quickly.

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Print advertisement for Sheaffer’s Voyager kit.

The Post Office Department provided customers with special stationery for free. Correspondents could obtain two sheets per day from their local post office. Others opted to purchase the materials that were readily available in neighborhood stores.

V-Mail stationery functioned as a letter and envelope in one. Once the sender had completed her message, she put the recipient’s and return addresses at the top and then folded the sheet into a self-mailing piece. This set of addresses was essential to the final stages for delivery because only this side was reproduced from microfilm to photographic print.

The sender repeated addresses a second time on the opposite side of the sheet. This set, on the “envelope” side of the form, was used to carry the mail along its first stage of the journey from a mailbox to a processing center.

You can print out a copy of a blank V-Mail form to use as stationery. If you want to mail it, be sure to use first-class postage.