Email in the 1800s?

Email in the 1800s?


I’ve been following a travel journal on a travel website for some time. The author of the journal was an avid traveler for decades who is now retired and spend a lot of time writing his journal. Just the other day, he posted a journal entry which I thought is very strange.

Below is the content of this strange travel journal:

This picture was taken while I was traveling in Firenze in 1981. An old lady was selling household stuff on her front porch. One of the items caught my eyes — it was a beautiful, old style wooden chest that someone had decorated by covering it with late 1800s Russian newspapers. Then I noticed one of the ads in the newspapers was in English, and I thought it was odd so I took a picture of it. As I was doing so, an old man ran towards me from inside the house and screamed something in Italian, which I didn’t understand. He grabbed the chest and ran back inside the house. I left quickly after that. I remembered the incident because I thought the old man was going to attack me when he charged at me.

I’ve had this picture for ages and had forgotten about it. I was organizing old pictures one day, trying to find good ones to post on TB and there it was. I was shocked when I read the ad again, 34 years later.

It says “Josh, email me. Ivan.” I’m sure the newspaper was dated in the late 1800s. Email didn’t exist until at least 70 years later. I didn’t even understand what email was when I saw the ad the first time in 1981, but of course I know what email means now.

This is creeping me out. How could this have happened?