When was the last time (if ever) that you heard those words?
Well, back in the day it was a pretty common alternative to today’s “cya”, “ttyl”, “pm me”, or “later dude…”. Families and friends didn’t have the opportunity to get together often and anyone travelling could expect to be gone for some time as the options to get from point A to point B would have been rather limited… and no planes, cars, phones, etc.
For the travellers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, keeping in touch while on a journey meant ensuring that you packed something like this for your trip…
A fairly compact writing companion that included pretty much everything you’d need (other than the writing paper) to let mom and dad know that you had arrived at your destination, and were a-ok. You could just scribble out your news, put it in the mail, and just like that… a few weeks or months later they’d receive it.
Some of these travelling sets were very basic and consisted of just the sealed ink container, with pens, etc. carried separately. This one includes a great deal more. It has two sealed ink reservoirs, allowing for two different colours of ink, or twice as much of your favourite colour, a small pen wipe, a flip-up candle, a pen rest, and a reversible pen/pencil combo to complete the set.
This one was Austrian made (“K.K. Priv.” stamped on the pen rests) sometime around the end of the 19th century. The interior is nicely patterned stamped brass and the exterior is leather, with a brass band around the middle. Its dimensions are 4.75″ x 3.0″ x 1.75″ (12.5cm x 8.0cm x 4.5cm). The original reversible pen/pencil was not present when I purchased it (if there ever was one), and this is one that I had obtained separately (no maker’s mark).