Did George Washington Have a Laptop?

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Washington’s “writing box”

How did the Founding Fathers write when they were on the road?

What if someone told you that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence on the 18th-century equivalent of a laptop computer? Or that George Washington’s wrote letters during the American Revolutionary War on a similar form of technology.

Bethanee Bernis explains it all at Smithsonian.com.

A taste:

The 18th-century writing box, also known as a dispatch case, portable desk and writing case, would have been an important object for the traveling Founding Father to own. Like the laptops and mobile devices of today, a writing box provided its owner a base from which to communicate, even when on the move.

A box generally contained space for paper, pens, ink and pencils, and often unfolded to reveal some type of writing surface as well. For Jefferson, Washington and Hamilton, who were often required to work away from the fully stocked desks they would have had in their homes and who were constantly writing letters or essays, the ability to travel with a small box with the most essential items from a writing desk was crucial. Each of their boxes, however, while serving similar purposes, is different.

Read the entire article here.