Category:
Postal Services

Wife Swapping By Mail

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jul 22, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Husbands, Wives, 1960s, Sex, Postal Services

Stamp-Licking Animals

Martin Wainwright tells the following story in The "Guardian" Book of April Fool's Day:

[The journalist James] Bone described on one occasion how a desperate contributor of 'pars', small fillers for the popular press, went to send a letter from a post office and noticed that the pet cat on the counter was sitting with its tongue out. On a whim, he gave it his stamp to lick which it did. The next day a very short story appeared under the headline: Post Office novelty — Stamp-licking cat of Charing Cross'.

Like the best April Fool's jokes, this was to girdle the Earth. Not only was the post office besieged by punters wanting to send catlick mail (until the cat was driven demented and fled after two days) but the story spread and resurfaced for years. Animal protection societies weighed in, MPs spoke and the innocuous prank took off. Bone's friend was send clippings from across the country and, as the years went by, from Australia, Shanghai and the United States.

This suggests that stamp-licking animals were a journalistic invention. However, there do seem to have been some real-life examples of the phenomenon.

Longview Daily News - Dec 13, 1974



The Bloomington Pantagraph - Mar 11, 1951



"Ashley practiced stamp-licking until he had the task down purrfectly, then offered to kick off the Organization for Responsible Care of Animals' public appeal... In return for his generosity, each donor will receive a thank-you note enclosed in an Ashley-licked envelope with stamp attached."
Lancaster Sunday News - Oct 6, 1985

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 17, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Cats, Dogs, Postal Services, Stamps

Mail-Delivering Cats

1879: Reports reached America of experiments conducted in the city of Liege, Belgium to determine if cats could be used to deliver mail. Three dozen cats were said to have been placed in bags and then taken several miles out of the city. They were then released, after a message had been tied to each one. The cats reportedly made it back to their homes in Liege before the humans did.

Plans were said to be in the works "to establish a regular system of cat communication between Liege and the neighboring villages".

Lancaster Intelligencer Journal - Mar 26, 1879



The Chicago Inter Ocean - Oct 28, 1879

Posted By: Alex - Fri Apr 30, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Cats, Nineteenth Century, Postal Services

Owney, the Taxidermy Post Office Dog







Mail clerks raised money for preserving their mascot and he was taken to the Post Office Department's headquarters in Washington, DC, where he was on placed on display for the public. In 1904 the Department added Owney to their display at the St. Louis, Missouri, World’s Fair. In 1911, the department transferred Owney to the Smithsonian Institution. In 1926, the Institution allowed Owney to travel to the Post Office Department’s exhibit at the Sesquicentennial exhibit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From 1964-1992, he was displayed at the Smithsonian museum now known as the National Museum of American History and in 1993 he moved to the new National Postal Museum, where he remains on display next to a fabricated Railway Post Office train car.


Source.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Apr 28, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Travel, Trains and Other Vehicles on Rails, Dogs, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century, Postal Services

Grand Canyon, Colorado

May 1999: the U.S. Postal Service had printed 100 million copies of a stamp showing the Grand Canyon before anyone noticed that the stamp had "Grand Canyon, Colorado" printed in the corner. Luckily, the stamps hadn't been released to the public yet, but they all had to be destroyed and replaced with a new stamp which correctly placed the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

According to the site canyonology.com, the problems with the stamp didn't end there. It was discovered that the image of the canyon had been flipped left to right, but the postal service decided this wasn't enough of an error to warrant reprinting the stamp.

Salem Statesman Journal - May 18, 1999

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jun 17, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: 1990s, Postal Services, Stamps

Juvenile Offender

Throw the book at her!

Source.



Posted By: Paul - Thu Nov 21, 2019 - Comments (3)
Category: Art, Crime, Toys, Children, 1930s, Postal Services

How We Do Things in Kansas

I love this genre of postcards that feature oversized common things like fish and various crops. This is one I had not seen before.



Source.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Mar 19, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Agriculture, Enlargements, Miniatures, and Other Matters of Scale, Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough, Horticulture and Gardens, Humor, Regionalism, Surrealism, Twentieth Century, Postal Services

Tom & Roy



I can tell you absolutely nothing about this.

Source.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Feb 22, 2019 - Comments (7)
Category: Human Marvels, Music, Postal Services

Animal of the Month Club

Creative Playthings, Inc. of Princeton, New Jersey launched its "Animal of the Month Club" in 1968. For $19.95, subscribers received small animals in the mail— not actually every month as the name of the club implied, but every few months. The animals included Argentine toads, a "mystery snail," newts, musk turtles, African underwater frogs, and Siamese fish.

The club reflected Creative Playthings philosophy of "helping children to learn while they play." There was, unfortunately, one big problem with the execution of the concept. The animals kept dying in the mail. So, by 1970, the club was no more.

Tyrone Daily Herald - Apr 1, 1969



Akron Beacon Journal - Apr 20, 1969

Posted By: Alex - Tue Mar 06, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: Animals, Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations, 1960s, Postal Services

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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