Day 7 – Slice of Life Challenge – Blogging in 1940’s

Ok, so no one was really blogging back in the old days -50’s, 40’s and further back- since there were not computers to send your stories out into the world. But let’s think about it.  What is a blog?

Blogs are:

  • a personal diary a place to record your day, your thoughts and your world.
  • it can be a platform for sharing information – book reviews, news blogs …
  • how to blogs – how to garden, how to raise your child …
  • spiritual blogs – short daily mediations to calm and enlighten

I am sure there are many more styles of blogs but you get the idea. Blogs are a way to share what you are thinking and doing with the people around you.

As I was chatting with my older sister this morning about my blog she made the connection back to the long and detailed letters that my relatives use to write weekly to each other. These letters might even be sent from person to person so everyone could be kept informed in the family.


My mother had a group of friends who did this as well. They called it their Round Robin letters. One person began the letter at the start of the month and sent it off. The next person wrote her letter and added it to the collection and sent it on. The letters made the full round by the end of the month and they then began again. Each month sharing the daily slice of their life with a group of 4 or 5 friends.

My family and I expect many other families took time each day or week to write long detailed letters about their life. They shared stories, information about the farm crops and the weather, the health of family members, what they were reading – books and news, they shared uplifting thoughts or messages from their daily mediations. They wrote their weekly slice of life.

You can find the letters of many famous people who did the same think – Abe Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson…   Letters were a way of communication with people who lived far away.

Hmmm – isn’t that what blogs are?  A way of communication with people who live far away. At times I think we are so clever and have created so many new ways of being and then I sit back and realize it is all a variation on a theme.

We just have fancy letters now with images and interesting fonts and we can reach beyond our family without the cost of paper and stamps. Well, there is the cost of the computer sitting on my lap but still we are communicating bits of our life with others.

So happy letter writing today as you share you slice of life with others in our extended family of friends.



P.S.  (as I kid I always loved adding a P.S. to my letters – I thought it was cool and the only thing I like about writing letters.)

I have a few of those old letters from my family and realize now I need to see if I can find more of them tucked away in the old farm house in Iowa. It is amazing what we can learn by looking back a few years.



I think that is true with blogs as well!


About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
This entry was posted in Reflection and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Day 7 – Slice of Life Challenge – Blogging in 1940’s

  1. blkdrama says:

    I hear you Joanne, but for me the blog/email/texting changed my life and allowed me to keep up far away relationships. I wasn’t a letter writer. Now I don’t have to be. Sooo much easier to use of keyboard with deleting power don’t you think? It changed my teaching life as well… just word processing… was enough for me.

    • Joanne Toft says:

      I do agree – I hated writing letters but love blogging. You are right about the power of the delete key. The computer made it easier in a life that runs much faster.

  2. jennieb says:

    I have a strong desire to write a letter after reading your post! Thank you for sharing!

  3. I like the concept of the Round Robin letters. Sounds like the old-school version of the group text message!

  4. arjeha says:

    I guess a blog by any other name…

  5. Alice Nine says:

    What a great post! I have family letters that I treasure: my parents’ letters during their courtship, my dad’s letters when I was in college (he passed away 2 months after I graduated); my older brother’s letter after the birth of my first child (he died in a plane crash just months later). And just two weeks ago I received a handwritten 12-page letter from my BFF … what she shared just had to be put down with pen on paper in her hand.

  6. Judy C. says:

    I remember many letters being passed between family members when I was growing up. I also have my Mom’s journals that she wrote in little notebooks. They are so interesting to read and learn more about her. They will be passed down to my daughter.

  7. Tara Smith says:

    There is something about letters…the crisp paper, the envelope, the smell of ink. I happen to love writing and getting letters.

  8. emily1103 says:

    I love this post–I have never heard of Round Robin letters, but I like it! I defy my Millenial label and say II am a huge fan of handwritten letters and cards–I love sending them and I love getting them! What I think I really like about them is that they are special–for me! What a marvelous tie-in of life three quarters of a century apart! Brava!

  9. vendija723 says:

    I was wondering what your definition of ’40s blogging would be, and I think you nailed it! The Bryon quote is very applicable to both, cementing your point. (Cement and nails; I’m not sure why my figurative language is so construction-based.) I used to write pages and pages of letters all the time, in my atrocious handwriting. And I loved getting letters from friends and family. I went to college out of state and spent much of my twenties abroad, all before the internet came into being, so there were lots of letters exchanged. Now I realize what great training that was for blogging!

  10. Ramona says:

    Letter writing, the forgotten art of communication. I loved letters, still do, although I guess I should admit that I’m better at writing notes, not letters. I never made the connection to blogging before. We actually tried the round robin letters in our family back in the 80s, but a certain sister who shall remain unnamed frequently broke the chain. Love the Lord Byron quote.

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