Before envelopes, there was letterlocking
November 9, 2018 7:52 AM   Subscribe

Say you're Mary Queen of Scots, or Galileo, or Machiavelli, or Marie Antoinette. Say you want to send a tamper-evident letter, but the mass-produced envelope hasn't been invented. You could still secure your message using letterlocking: a system of folds, slits and seals that made a letter its own security system .

Jana Dambroglio, Daniel Starza Smith and their team are creating a comprehensive history and dictionary of letterlocking.
posted by zeptoweasel (5 comments total) 100 users marked this as a favorite
 
Some other info about letterlocking previously.
posted by Krazor at 8:09 AM on November 9


Interesting that these techniques were lost to academics for many years, but based on the previous thread have been passed down through generations of prisoners and schoolchildren.
posted by TedW at 8:28 AM on November 9 [4 favorites]


The dagger-trap one is amazing and I long to recreate it but as my garbage hands are still relearning how to hand properly, it can only end in bloodshed and disaster.

also some of the video angles are extremely frustrating to watch, when she has to hold the paper a certain way in order for the camera to see the movements but which is suboptimal for doing the actual movements, and it felt like watching someone who has never played a video game before trying to speedrun altair's armor tomb
posted by poffin boffin at 8:48 AM on November 9 [9 favorites]


poffin boffin: also some of the video angles are extremely frustrating to watch, when she has to hold the paper a certain way in order for the camera to see the movements but which is suboptimal for doing the actual movements

See also: porn.
posted by clawsoon at 10:12 AM on November 9 [15 favorites]


“It took a long time for me to realize, actually, what I’m doing is new,” she says. “It’s not just new to me.”

Nice, nice feeling.
posted by hawthorne at 8:04 AM on November 10 [1 favorite]


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