On the theme of People Who Have Posted Themselves Through The Mail, so far we have already noted the achievements in this line of activity of Henry Bray, May Pierstorff, and Johann Beck.
We can add to our list Reg Spiers, about whom the BBC News recently ran an article. In the mid-1960s, Spiers posted himself from London to Australia as a way to cheaply get back home in time for his daughter's birthday. The cost of a plane ticket was actually cheaper than the cost of shipping such a heavy crate, but Spiers knew that he could send the crate cash-on-delivery, so that payment would only be required once he was in Australia.
His plan succeeded. When he arrived in Australia, the crate (with him inside it) was put in a storage shed from which he managed to escape and hitchhike home. He never had to pay the shipping fees.
As a creator of "mail art" (you can see some of my stuff here), I immediately dived upon the book pictured to the right. It tells the life story of W. R. Bray, who invented the concept of messing with the mails, even going so far as to mail a live dog and himself! It's full of Grade-A weirdness, and beautifully illustrated.
But surely one of the weirdest facts connected with the gem is that it was once sent through the US Mail!
Henry “Harry” Winston, a leading American jeweler and gem dealer, bought the diamond from Mrs. McLean’s estate in 1949. In November 1958 Winston donated the diamond to the Smithsonian Institution, intending it to be the foundation for a National Jewel Collection. With his years of experience in shipping jewelry all over the world, Winston chose to have the diamond delivered by registered mail. He told a reporter for the Washington Post that “ . . . [registered mail is] the safest way to ship gems. . . . I’ve sent gems all over the world that way.”
Just a thought about that curse: since 1958, the Hope Diamond has been owned, in a manner of speaking, by the whole nation. If one chooses to date America's hard times--the end of some mythical Golden Age--from roughly that period, could it be said that the curse is still operative?
Why not sell the Hope Diamond to a rich oil shiek, use the money to help relieve the deficit, and see what happens?