The Museum’s Blog

Before Television: Seals and Wax

CDM 997.530.2

What Happens When We Turn off the Remote

Before computers, television or even telephones we used to write letters. Lots of letters. And if one of your letters called for an extra decorative flourish you might close the envelope with some wax and a seal like the one pictured above.

This seal dates from approximately 1900 and bears the initials SEM that stand for Sylvia Edith Markle. Sylvia married W.A.W. Hames and the family moved to the Comox Valley in 1914.

Historically, the use of seals goes back to the earliest civilizations of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. And, apparently, the use of seals is making a come back today – at least according to Martha Stewart, modern design guru.

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