Published on Jan 11, 2020

Envelope Background Images

License Info: Creative Commons 4.0 BY-NC

An envelope is a common packaging item, usually made of thin, flat material. It is designed to contain a flat object, such as a letter or card.

Traditional envelopes are made from sheets of paper cut to one of three shapes: a rhombus, a short-arm cross or a kite. These shapes allow for the creation of the envelope structure by folding the sheet sides around a central rectangular area. In this manner, a rectangle-faced enclosure is formed with an arrangement of four flaps on the reverse side.

When the folding sequence is such that the last flap to be closed is on a short side it is referred to in commercial envelope manufacture as a pocket – a format frequently employed in the packaging of small quantities of seeds. Although in principle the flaps can be held in place by securing the topmost flap at a single point (for example with a wax seal), generally they are pasted or gummed together at the overlaps. They are most commonly used for enclosing and sending mail (letters) through a prepaid-postage postal system.

  • The first known “envelope” is dated back to between 3,500 to 3,200 B.C in the Middle East. Unlike what we use now, these envelopes were clay spheres molded around financial tokens.
  • Paper envelopes first used in China in the 2nd Century.
  • The first envelope making machine was invented in 1845.The paper was diamond shaped and did not come pre-gummed for sealing.
  • In the Victorian Era, the placement of a stamp were used as coded messages between young lovers whose parents censored their mail. For instance, an upside down stamp meant “I love you” a diagonal stamp means “I miss you”.
  • The Eureka Diamond, the first diamond discovered in South Africa, was used as a toy by the boy who discovered it, given away for free by his mother, and sent by mail to a mineralogist in an ordinary paper envelope?

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