Pragmatic Papyrus

This exhibit features the history of area and other business letterhead stationery selected from the J. G. Sterchi Furniture Company Business Records Scrapbook found at an auction in Virginia, and donated to the Archives of Appalachia.  Dated 1911-1914, a selection of 94 letters are samples of the simplest to the most technologically advanced stationery of the time.  All tell a story of the types of products and commodities that were available in the early 20th century, not only in downtown Johnson City, but in surrounding towns. Each letterhead provides insight into the history and advancement of stationery as a marketing tool to enhance and promote local businesses.

Ten business histories, including two historic hotels, are also featured. Though a few businesses are still in existence today, most have been lost to the annals of time. 

Take a walk down memory lane with this treasure trove of well-preserved letters from 110 years ago.



curated by Sandy Laws