Living HistoryPosted by Chris Pittman Sun, November 04, 2018 10:47PM
You can't have a Schreibstube, without paper.
I collect many
different types of wartime paper items including Feldpost letters,
identity documents, passes, ration and personal kit item packaging and
other ephemera from the war years. Paper used during the war came in a
wide variety of textures, colors, and
thicknesses but there are characteristics that I associate with wartime
paper in general. Materials shortages necessitated the use of even
things like potato stalks in German paper, it was different from most paper commonly used today. Most commercially available modern paper is
made differently from what was used in the first half of the twentieth
century, in general. Modern paper is brighter and smoother whereas
wartime paper was often rougher, with a slightly mottled appearance. Of
course there were exceptions to this, smooth paper did exist back then.
Having a Schreibstube necessitates having a variety of different kinds
of paper for different documents and purposes. I have found it very
difficult to source exact modern equivalents for wartime paper, but I
have been able to amass a lot of usable paper that looks close enough to
fall generally within the very wide range of what was used. To reiterate, you are looking for paper that is not bright white, and that has some texture. One thing I
do from time to time is go to an art supply store and look at sketch
pads. There are a lot of different types of these pads available and
many have usable paper. I will also look at stationery and try to find
nice paper with subtle watermarks, or without watermarks, or various
kinds of natural colored or off-white stock for specific projects.
One thing you can keep an eye out for is paper with a high recycled
content that has not been bleached to bright white. Paper and envelopes
in “Recyclinggrau” color, that may be available in Germany, look great.
If you look at pads of “kraft” paper, or colored “construction paper,”
you may find usable stuff for making envelopes, small passes or ID
documents, or other specific purposes. Here in the US, dollar stores
often have sketch pads with thin newsprint type paper that is great.
Newsprint in general is very good to have and is widely available in
pads. The issue with this is that it doesn’t stand up to fountain pen
ink, which will bleed and feather. So newsprint alone is not suitable
for all purposes.There is paper that is marketed today specifically for fountain pen use.
A lot of these pads of paper are 9” x 12”
which is ideal as you can cut that down to the DIN A4 size that is and
was standard in Germany.
Lastly, keep an eye out for actual
vintage paper. In antique shops and thrift stores you can sometimes find
old typewriter paper or old notebooks. Even small notebooks can yield
great paper for typewritten Soldbuch inserts or other small documents. And old books may have blank end pages that can be utilized.
intrenches.com updatesPosted by Chris Pittman Tue, February 27, 2018 07:52PM
I started this site in 2010 and despite very many postage price increases by the US Postal Service, I kept the shipping prices the same over the years. Recently there was another big increase and I cannot continue to lose so much on shipping costs, I have been forced to raise my shipping rates for the first time ever. Shipping one stamp sheet or up to 2 rubber stamps with handles now costs $4 in the USA or $15 to Europe (an increase of $1). Shipping for multiple sheets or larger stamp orders will be more. I don't think any other vendor will ship any parcel for less. "Free shipping" is just built into the price, of course. I remain committed to offering my products to other hobbyists as inexpensively as possible.
intrenches.com updatesPosted by Chris Pittman Sat, December 16, 2017 12:14AM
Many people have asked me about wartime German handwriting- what styles were used, how to tell the scripts apart, how to learn to write in German script. I posted an article tonight about this. I included some historical background information about handwriting in Germany and show a bunch of examples of the different scripts.
intrenches.com updatesPosted by Chris Pittman Thu, December 08, 2016 11:20PM
Many people have asked me what Soldbuch photos should look like. Before 1943, there were no Soldbuch photos for the Heer, SS or Luftwaffe. Most Soldbücher issued 1939-44 had photos added in 1944. They simply used whatever photos were available. Many soldiers never got photos. I posted a new article with some examples of original Soldbuch photos.
intrenches.com updatesPosted by Chris Pittman Thu, December 01, 2016 12:46AM
Many people have asked me how to create a correct period type roster for their reenactment group. I have posted this information online in countless groups but until now I have not sat down to put all of the necessary information in one place. I've just got a new article up that contains all the details necessary to complete this project: where to get the binder, a printable PDF for period type binder labels, another PDF for the page that had to be filled out for each soldier, plus scans for reference, the translation of the form, and information about how to fill the form out. Every reenactment unit should have a clerk and every reenactment clerk should consider maintaining this type of record, it is a great thing to have.
Living HistoryPosted by Chris Pittman Tue, January 26, 2016 01:22PM
I'm leaving today for the event at Fort Indiantown Gap, PA, and won't be back until Sunday. I can't ship any orders until next week. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Rubber stamp projectsPosted by Chris Pittman Tue, December 15, 2015 10:11PM
I wanted to share this nice letter from the Zeitgeschichtliches Museum Mannheim thanking me for a set of reproduction stamps I created for an exhibit. I take pride in making reproductions that are truly museum quality.
we received our order of WW2 copy
rubber stamp set today.
Again we are very pleased with your
work as it is excellent.
The stamp will be used in our Museum
exhibit to show what kind of
stamps were used in the Mannheim area
during the time of WW2.
We also appreciate that you
questioned us why and what for we needed
the stamps, so you know what will be
done with them and that you do
not open doors for fakers.
Again, thank you very much for your
Rubber stamp projectsPosted by Chris Pittman Mon, December 14, 2015 06:04PM
Here are a couple of rubber ink stamps I made for marking uniform items manufactured in SS facilities. I have designs for many different WWII uniform and equipment stamps, copied from originals. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any custom stamp for marking reproduction items.
Living HistoryPosted by Chris Pittman Sat, August 08, 2015 02:17AM
I've been having a busy summer and the new In Trenches web shop is still not ready for its debut. In the meantime, I wanted to post this new article. Every reenactment group needs a clerk to issue identity documents and other paperwork. This article is a guide for people interested in this unique specialty impression, it contains tips for how to get started and ideas for the practical application of this skill in a living history context.
intrenches.com updatesPosted by Chris Pittman Sun, April 19, 2015 09:41PM
In Trenches launched in 2009 as a source for reproduction WWII rubber stamps. At that time I never could have imagined the worldwide demand for these products. I am pleased to announce that I will be expanding the In Trenches product line to include reproduction documents, period office supplies and other replica and original personal and equipment items. In the coming weeks I plan to launch a brand new, vastly improved web site! Please check back soon!