Back in the days when everyone used quill pens and then fountain pens
ink blotters or blotting paper could be found on every office or writing desk.
Blotter were usually made of a soft absorbent paper formed into a card and were used to dry up excess ink and prevent smears.
With the invention of ballpoint pen in the 1950s, ink blotters disappeared from the average office desk. Today, these vintage blotters are very highly sought after collectibles.
Advertising Ink Blotters were a very popular from of advertising that were often given away by fountain pen manfacturers,
banks, merchants and especially
Insurance Companies. Antique Ink blotters were as common as business cards are today.
Vintage Desk Ink Blotter
Written references to blotting paper in America have been found beginning in the late 1700s. It was not until the 1850s that blotting paper came into common use in America, when Joseph Parker and Son started manufacturing blotting paper. In the late 1800s, a patent was issued for improved blotting paper which featured a smooth surface on one side and a blotting surface on the other.
Rocker blotters were an important piece of desk equipment from the late 1880s until the 1950s. This type of blotter had a handle 3 to 5 inches long and a rounded surface 2 to 3 inches wide where the blotting paper was attached. Some of these rocker blotters were very ornate and made of wood, glass, silver or brass.