Miss Ambrinna’s lecture about the Quick Post stamps! Send more letters!
The Green Dragon Friday lecture series continues, this time with a talk about stamps! Miss Ambrinna held this one Friday April 7 2017.
Please let me know if you’d like to sign up for a lecture yourself! Green Dragon Friday is a hobbit roleplaying event held on the LOTRO Laurelin server, every Friday between 2:30PM – 4:30PM servertime. Format-wise, GDF lectures should last no more than 10-15 minutes when delivered by in-game text messages in /say chat. This means that the lectures are rarely exhaustive treatments, but rather quick talks to whet the audience’s appetite to topics of hobbit interest.
The Making of Stamps for the Quick Post
Good evening everyone, to this lecture on how stamps are made to use on your letters and packages. As you will hear it will also show the reliance the Quick Post has on the amazing Bog Slug!
Now the earliest stamps were quite crude, but they have evolved into the colourful little paper squares you stick on your letters today. I will now go into the process of how the stamps are made starting with the paper.
The paper is the same as you find in the pages of books and diaries. Each sheet of the paper is checked for size, then placed on a square metal plate. Another metal plate with the design of the stamps cut into small squares, is placed above it. This second plate has been coated in the correct coloured ink, and is pressed down onto the paper below and clamped shut. It is left for a day before being carefully removed and hung on line to await the application of a waxy waterproof coating. This is to protect the newly applied ink design from running if it gets wet. This coating is a mixture of tallow and slug slime which has been boiled into a liquid solution. The solution is applied with a brush and the paper is once more hung on a line for a further day.
Now we come to the glue, and obtaining the correct glue for the Shire stamps took much trial and error until the right one was finally discovered. This was down to the glue book binders in the Shire use, to fix the spine of a book to its pages.
Now I have mentioned slug slime being used before, and much of the credit goes to the aforementioned book binders. They discovered that the slime from the slugs from Rushock Bog near Needlehole is very sticky. This was perfect for binding books but not for using on stamps. So the Quick Post experimented with the slug slime until they found that when diluted with weak beer, the perfect glue was made. Now just the adding of moisture to the glue will make it sticky. The glue is now carefully applied with a brush on the reverse side of the printed paper sheets. It is then hung once more for a day to dry.
Now I come to the ink that is used, which I mentioned earlier. This was much easier to obtain as it uses locally bought dyes boiled with slug slime. This produces a thick rich ink that is very hard wearing and easy to apply.
Once a sheet of finished stamps is ready, it is inspected and if approved gets placed into a folder. These folders are issued to all the postmasters, who just have clip out the right amount of stamps when needed.
As you can see, much goes into the process of making the stamps you all use. Which I am sure you agree, helps make the shire Quick Post the best.
Master Skepto also recorded the lecture. Thanks! Yer can see it below:The Making of Stamps for the Quick Post