We recently got a postcard that may be a first for the Collection – a postcard asking for a donation. I have postcards that advertise things and promote events, but this is likely the first that I have to specifically ask for a donation.
Canada Post did a number on this postcard – note the smudge-type tears in the picture (particularly bad after the word “History”). They’ve done this before (oddly enough, with postcards from their own service). But this is the worst. Bad Canada Post – tampering with the mail, i.e. severely damaging a postcard – is a crime!
Here’s the backside that makes the donation request.
I recently got a notice from WordPress that I’m almost at my limit for their allotment of free storage space. As this blog doesn’t earn any money, I figured I should start shrinking and optimizing my postcard photos before posting them to conserve space. So this post is the first one with a smaller image size and lower image resolution. The file size is about 1/6 of what it would have been otherwise.
So hopefully this will help Deltiology Deity to continue a bit longer.
Almost as much as I love postcards, I love bad movies. And the ultimate host of schlocky horror films is Elvira Mistress of the Dark. Years before Mystery Science Theatre made an art of B-film mockery, Elvira was the horror flick “hostess with the mostess”.
Today is the birthday of Elvira’s alter-ego Cassandra Peterson.
Before the Web and social media made contacting and following celebrities easy, In 1995 I had to write to Elvira’s official fan club to ask to join. After waiting for weeks, I finally received this in the mail:
I was excited to have Elvira on a postcard, but it’s not really all (or much) that I had hoped for from her or her fan club.
Here’s the backside:
Rather cold as Elvira’s deathly pallour isn’t it? No personal message, just a spiel for me to buy boring stuff (Phone cards?!? Make it postcards and now you’re talking.)
Sadly, this is the only thing I ever got from Elvira (sniff) or her fan club. But one Elvira postcard is better than one – but nothing would beat a great set though!
I presented last year at an IEEE conference so I joined the technology association. I subsequently let my membership lapse and have been getting various reminder email and print mailings to encourage me to renew. This one that arrived last week, however, was extraordinary:
The postcard itself isn’t anything special – standard promo postcard. But it’s what’s adhered to the postcard – the square on the left is a fridge magnet!
I have some antique postcards with ribbon and string attached (called appliqué postcards), but I’ve never encountered a fridge magnet before. I’m impressed not only at the novelty of it, but that it made it through two postal services without coming off.
Here’s the back:
When I got this I was tempted to remove the magnet and put it on my fridge. I used to collect fridge magnets and still have some leftovers clinging on. (I admit my “collections” have bordered on hoarding, but I’ve eliminated all my collections now except postcards – and sunglasses and maybe a couple other things). But I decided to keep it in tact as a fine, unique specimen!
My wife received a postcard from the Canadian federal government this week, after receiving a similar one just a few weeks earlier.
They are targetted to small businesses to convince them to go online:
Here’s another one she received:
Here’s the back side (same on both) with the message on how much better things are online:
Postcard caption (excerpt):
“Start getting your business tax-related correspondence online. ONLINE MAIL IS FAST, CONVENIENT, AND COMPLETELY SECURE.
Register for online mail service and get…”
The big yellow sticker on the bottom-right is applied by Canada Post to re-route our mail from our old address. We paid for the last couple years to have our automatically re-routed (it works, but not infallibly). But in an additional argument for the virtues of online – my wife has updated her address with this government office twice ages ago and she still gets mail to our old address!
So it turns out nobody really reads postcards carefully. Here’s a postcard I recently received from Toronto’s Science Centre to demonstrate this point:
Waht’s Giong on Hree?
It deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the the wrod as a wlohe.
Wonder what else you’ll discover at the Ontario Science Centre? Look inside!”
I got this item along with a bunch of other mail and quickly sped read it without even noticing anything different for a few seconds. Even then I can read it absolutely the same as passages spelled correctly.
I thought it was one of the most interesting advertisements I’ve ever received. It’s also rather fascinating proof that we really don’t raed aynhntig vrey persceliy!
Until recently, I didn’t save advertising postcards unless they were something special (like the ones from my former dentist).
But when this postcard below recently arrived – as soon as I stopped laughing – I knew it was a keeper:
It’s an invitation to a free luncheon at one of the poshest restaurants in Toronto to attend a wealth seminar! And look who it’s addressed to:
To me! It’s got my name and address on it – so it’s no mistake! (Granted at my old – more tony address in Forest Hill – it was redirected to my new sketchy neighbourhood address). I have no idea how I got on this mailing list, but they sure as hell don’t know me and my PhD student budget. Not to mention the picture of a juicy steak isn’t particularly appealing to me as as I’m a vegetarian.
Nonetheless, this is clearly a new-found treasure of the collection – representing direct marketing gone horribly, horribly astray!
Over the years I have got a bunch of direct mail postcards – most of them are not very inspired or effective. Yet as an addict collector, I keep them all.
This item below is my absolute favourite advertisement postcard:
I loved this so much I had it on my wall for ages. It’s effective as a promo in getting my attention, being memorable, and motivational. The woman is so kindly encouraging me to get with the plan, despite how direly out of it I apparently am (my estimate judging by the 1950s imagery of this postcard is that I have been out of it since then – even before I was born I was behind the times!)
Here’s the back detailing what exactly “the Plan” is:
It didn’t motivate me to buy insurance, but I do strive to get with the plan!