If you’re at all tuned in to the stamp-loving and letter-writing communities across the web, chances are you’ve heard of Postcrossing. Launched in 2005 by people who delight in checking the mailbox (not the inbox) every day, this postal-based project connects people from all over the world through the exchange of postcards.
The premise is simple: Create a profile, request an address to which you’d like to mail a postcard, send it, and wait for one to come to you, all for (almost) free—you do have to pay for postage! (For the visually-minded, this video demonstrates the process, set to philatelic music.) The best part is, you never know what you’re going to find in your mailbox.
Because it’s an international exchange, users can receive a wide variety of stamps, postcards, and even mail art. Many Postcrossers upload images of their unique pieces to Postcrossing’s Flickr page as a visual component to the shared communication. Some are truly amazing!
Since the project’s inception, Postcrossers have sent more than 13 million postcards to addresses around the globe. And it isn’t just mail fans participating. The State Journal reported that several homeschool communities use Postcrossing as an alternative method for teaching geography and history. Letters and stamps can be fun and educational!
Have you ever participated in Postcrossing? If you were to send a postcard to an unknown recipient, what would you write? What kind of postcard would you send? Which stamp(s) would you use? Tell us your stories in the comments.
There are just three days left until the Stamp Out Hunger food drive on Saturday, May 12. Have you got your donation ready?
By leaving a bag of non-perishable food items by your mailbox on Saturday, you can help keep millions of families across the country from going hungry. One in eight Americans are fed by the nation’s leading domestic hunger relief organization Feeding America—one of the Stamp Out Hunger’s many sponsors.
Don’t have a mailbox? You can leave a bag on your front porch for your letter carrier to collect. Many metropolitan area post offices nationwide will also have collection boxes where you can drop off your donations. Contact your local post office to find out more information.
We hope you’ll join us in helping put an end to hunger in America. We can’t do it without you!
On this day in 1860, the Pony Express began its run through parts of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California. On average, a rider covered 75 to 100 miles daily, changing horses at relay stations set 10 to 15 miles apart.
The first mail by Pony Express from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California (nearly 2,000 miles), took 10 days, cutting the overland stage time by more than half. The fastest delivery was in March 1861, when President Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural address was carried from St. Joseph to Sacramento in 7 days and 17 hours.
The Pony Express officially ended October 26, 1861, after the transcontinental telegraph line was completed, and became an enduring legend.
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“Fire & Ice” Mail Exhibit Now Open at National Postal Museum
The innovative “Fire & Ice: Hindenburg and Titanic” exhibit opened yesterday at the National Postal Museum. The exhibit, which will be open through January 6, 2014, brings together artifacts from the zeppelin LZ-129 Hindenburg and ocean liner RMS Titanic, the world’s largest mobile post offices.
From the Postal Museum’s website:
Exhibit highlights include a very rare piece of mail sent from Titanic and burnt mail salvaged from Hindenburg. Other items include mail, postcards, menus, photographs, keys from Titanic’s post office and the salvaged postmark device from Hindenburg. Many of these photographs and artifacts have never before been available for public viewing.
Joining us at the ribbon-cutting ceremony was Frank Ward, a ground crew member for the Hindenburg and eyewitness to the airship’s 1937 disaster. His account of the experience is nothing short of harrowing! Here Mr. Ward signs a book for Stephen Kearney, Manager of Stamp Services, USPS.
This exciting exhibit is the first of its kind. If you find yourself in the Washington, D.C., area stop by and check it out!
Have you heard about the Month of Letters Challenge? It was created by award-winning novelist Mary Robinette Kowal, a champion of slow, reflective communication. Here’s the challenge:
In the month of February, mail at least one item through the post every day it runs. Write a postcard, a letter, send a picture, or a cutting from a newspaper, or a fabric swatch. Write back to everyone who writes to you. This can count as one of your mailed items. All you are committing to is to mail 24 items. Why 24? There are four Sundays and one US holiday. In fact, you might send more than 24 items. You might develop a correspondence that extends beyond the month. You might enjoy going to the mail box again.
Writers and regular people around the world are taking part in the challenge, and so are we! Will you join us? Let us know in the comments, and check back here throughout February to see how we’re doing. (If you’re on Twitter, follow #LetterMo.)