Recently we have looked at a number of ways that the Samuel A. Bemis papers were written, folded, sealed, mailed, unfolded, refolded and bound with red tape. Another common method we have found of collating the papers was to sort them by subject and then wrap them with a paper binder.
If you look closely at this paper wrapper for example you can read “Bills & Rec.t of 1841.” Rec.t is an abbrevation of receipts.
On the back you can see evidence of red wax used to adhere the wrapper together. Other writing on the paper indicates that Bemis “recycled” old letters, perhaps older draft versions, to make the paper wrappers.
Here is another example from 1857.
He used another type of paper wrapper to collate some of his cancelled checks together.
On the back he did some of his calculations.
These small details about how papers were sorted, collated and bound help give us insight to the 19th century world.