Stephens' 1869 Letter Opener
A combination ink eraser blade, pencil eraser and letter opener, with folding ebony handle marked "Stephens Pat". Charles Stephen, of Riverton, Connecticut, patented the device Nov 16, 1869. The unique steel blade serves as an ordinary ink scraper and also has sharpened barbs at the rear that slit open an envelope which is placed in a groove on the edge of the handle. The India rubber pencil erasure is worn down to the ebony sheath - otherwise fine condition. The novel device actually works quite well at opening letters. 2 3/4" long, closed.
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