Weird Universe

Postal Services

USPS Forecasts Its Own Future


From a 1968 issue of NEW YORK MAGAZINE.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Jun 01, 2015 | Comments (5)
Category: Internet, 1960's, Postal Services

Mail Yourself

Yesterday, the New Daily paper reported that Australia Post will soon begin offering a service to allow people to mail themselves across country:

The scheme, to be called AirMale and AirFemale, will see the ailing postal service partner with a low-cost airline to deliver customers for a one-way fee of just $35 to any airport in Australia serviced by the carrier...

While those opting for the new AirMale and AirFemale services won’t have to “post” themselves in envelopes or boxes, they will have to fly in the cargo hold of aircraft.

Of course, it was just an April Fool's Day hoax, but had to share it since it touched on a theme (people posting themselves through the mail) recently discussed here on WU.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Apr 02, 2015 | Comments (8)
Category: Postal Services

The man who posted himself to Australia

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.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Mar 09, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: 1960's, Postal Services

The Englishman Who Posted Himself

So long as Alex has brought up this theme, I thought I would reference this great book, which I reviewed at the B&N REVIEW upon its release five years ago.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Feb 15, 2015 | Comments (1)
Category: Eccentrics, Books, Europe, Postal Services

The Return of Weird Postcards






[Click on any of them to enlarge.]

I bought these just yesterday at Raven Used Books in Northampton, MA. Hundreds more awaiting your visitation.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Nov 07, 2012 | Comments (7)
Category: Humor, Outsider Art, Twentieth Century, Postal Services

Four Weird Vintage Postcards





Click on any image to enlarge.

Be sure to use Number Four in all anti-Romney campaigning.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Sep 06, 2012 | Comments (7)
Category: Art, Religion, Stereotypes and Cliches, Postal Services

Two Postcards



I just bought these yesterday from my favorite used-book store, Cellar Stories Books, and thought I would share them with you all.

Zip Code with The Swinging Six

Fifteen minutes to explain adding five digits to your address?!?
Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed May 18, 2011 | Comments (3)
Category: PSA's, 1960's, Postal Services

Englishman in the Mails

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.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Sep 12, 2010 | Comments (5)
Category: Outsider Art, Europe, Nineteenth Century, Postal Services

The Hope Diamond

As a kid, I was fascinated by the Curse of the Hope Diamond.

But you don't seem to hear about it so much anymore.

For a quick rundown of the tale, visit this site, or check out the Wikipedia entry.

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?

Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Dec 12, 2008 | Comments (1)
Category: Museums, 1950's, Natural Wonders, Curses, Postal Services
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.