Talk about a long conversation! People didn’t always use email and text messages to talk to one another. Two hundred years ago, you would have to write a letter if you wanted to talk to someone, and you’d have to wait weeks or even months for a reply.

You might have been able to get some of your writing supplies from a store, but others you would have to make yourself. Gather these materials and make your own kit, similar to what people used to write letters with in the past.

What You Need

  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Cup
  • Coffee filter
  • Sharp knife, like an X-acto
  • Feather
  • Watercolor or ink paper

What You DoMaking-ink-1

Step 1:  Place the raspberries in the bowl. Mash just a little with the spoon and sprinkle half of the sugar over the berries. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.

Step 2:  Add the vinegar and remaining sugar to the berries and smash with a spoon until there is juice at the bottom of the bowl.

Step 3:  Twist the coffee filter so there is a point at the bottom. Place it on top of the cup and gently push the Making-ink-2raspberry mixture through the filter. Be careful not to break the filter.

Step 4:  Grownup alert! Have an adult cut off the tip of the feather with a sharp knife at a 45 degree angle.

You’re ready to write just like people in the past! Dip your quill pen into the ink and write a note. It may take a little practice. Think about what life might have been like two hundred years ago—what would you write about if you lived back then? Who would you write to?

The Bullock Museum includes three floors of exhibitions, IMAX® and 4D special-effects theaters, a café and museum store. The Museum collaborates with more than 700 museums, libraries, archives and individuals to display original historical artifacts and host exhibitions that illuminate and celebrate Texas history and culture. For more, visit or call (512) 936-8746. or call (512) 936-8746.


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