Stationeryrefers to mass-produced materials used in writing, such as envelopes, paper, items like pens and pencils and other office materials. Whilestationeryonce referred exclusively to handwritten products, it has expanded to include devices such as printers with the dawn of the technological age.
Whilestationerygenerally became more popular as literacy rates rose, much of its increase in use came from the fact that it was seen as a symbol of correct etiquette and social status. Particularly in the Victorian era,stationerycame to be associated with upper-class decorum. With the rise of the digital age,stationeryhas become somewhat overshadowed, but the traditions of handwritten formalities persist in some forms despite the ease and low cost of the many alternatives offered by technological advance. For example, ‘thank you’ cards are still commonly written by hand, and some otherstationeryproducts, such as wedding invitations, are still produced with a combination of machine and handwritten contributions.