Noodler’s V-Mail Ink Series: Mandalay Maroon

The United States adopted the Airgraph Service, renaming it “victory mail” or “V-Mail,” on June 15, 1942, and it was in use until April 1, 1945. Where it had taken up to a month for standard mail delivery by ship, V-Mail delivery could take as little as twelve days or less using aircraft. Air transport also had the added benefit of minimizing the likelihood of enemy interception, although censors still insured that any potentially useful or damaging information was deleted from all messages. One final benefit was that letters could never be “lost in the mail”-with serial numbers on the forms and originals held on file, any message that was lost in transit could be reproduced and sent to the addressee.

A person who wanted to send a letter by airgraph or V-Mail would obtain the standard, pre-printed form from the local post office or five and dime store on request. The form contained space for a letter of about 100 to 300 words, the address of the serviceman or -woman to whom the letter was to be delivered, the address of the sender, and a circular area for the censor’s stamp of approval. Once the message was written, the form was to be folded and sealed. It then made its way to a processing center where the form was re-opened and fed through a machine that photographed the letters on 16mm film. A continuous roll of this film (100 feet long by 16mm wide) could hold up to 1700 messages and, with the metal container it was housed in, weighed 5.5 oz (154g). A sack of mail holding the same number of regular letters would have weighed 50 lbs. (22.5kg). When the V-Mail reached the destination, it was sent to a local processing facility that reversed the process, printing photographs of the letters to be sent to the intended recipient in a three inch by four inch envelope. via Postal Museum

WP_20151021_006Yesterday my Mandalay Maroon Noodler’s Ink came in via Amazon. What initially drew me to this ink was the bottle. And the history. I love something with a good story and the V-Mail ink had a great one! One of the things I appreciate about Noodler’s inks is that they are always filled to the brim! You really get your money’s worth! I’ve ordered bottles of ink in the past and they are a third gone. A full bottle of ink is just a great sight to to be seen!

WP_20151021_008The ink looks almost rosy in this pic, but it’s more of a wine red. I checked the color again this morning and it’s a deeper shade of reddish purplish maroon.


WP_20151021_007Written using a vintage Sheaffer Snorkel Signature pen (1952-1959) that was my father’s during his childhood. This red ink is so even and it’s muted which makes it pleasant to write with.

WP_20151021_010The Sheaffer makes beautiful broad lines that really show off the color of this ink!

WP_20151021_004I especially enjoy the art on the Noodler’s bottles. It’s what initially drew me to them. That and the price range. Plus, they really are great inks!

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