In the 19th century, the nascent advertising industry took notice of the fact that postmasters could send each other letters for free, and bribed them to forward packets of mail to one another to pass on to townspeople ("To Superintendent Sunday School OR ANY ONE INTERESTED IN MUSIC").
The nature of these paleospams is familiar to anyone who looks at spam today: multi-level marketing, home improvement, crapgadgets, the government owes you money and I know how to get it, cheap printing, we pay cash for scrap, etc etc. There's even an overseas con from "Rev HGC Hallock, PhD; 480 Chapoo Rd, Shanghai, China."
Like modern spam, the industry thrived by exploiting a zero-rated piece of public infrastructure.
The mid- to late-nineteenth century saw the beginnings of advertising agencies (most, at first, simply placing newspaper ads for their clients), of compiled mailing lists and pre-printed labels . . . and of junk mail fishing for fresh, new contacts. For a variety of reasons, the first junk mail (targeted mail, generic mail . . . take your pick) went to and through local postmasters. Small town postmasters knew anybody and everybody in town, knew their businesses, knew their interests, knew their foibles. Much such mail was addressed directly to the postmaster, asking him to pass it along to someone in town likely to be interested in the product. Other mail, addressed to "The Leading (Teacher / Grocer / Doctor / you name it)" in town also bore a side note to the postmaster asking him to re-direct it to somebody else likely to be interested, if appropriate.
Junk mail is nothing new [Dick Sheaff/Ephemera Society]
(via Super Punch)
A Korean Air flight attendant has tested positive for coronavirus, and they worked on flights between Seoul and Los Angeles, South Korean media outlets reported on Wednesday afternoon U.S. time.
The head of Iran’s coronavirus government task force who urged the public not to freak out about the epidemic while coughing and sweating profusely has tested positive for the illness himself, authorities said Tuesday. New cases of COVID-19 originating in Iran are now rapidly popping up across the Middle East. The coughing and heavily sweating […]
In Switzerland today, a 70-year old man tested positive for the coronavirus in the southern canton of Ticino, right next to the border with Italy, say Swiss health authorities. This is the first case of COVID-19 in Switzerland, and authorities say the man was likely exposed in Italy.
Whether you’re managing a political campaign or building a client base, there comes a time when you stop seeing people and start seeing numbers. This doesn’t happen suddenly. You shake hands, make calls, and build relationships. And then those relationships disappear into a database of donors or customers as your organization grows. People get brought […]
Learning to ride a bike is one of those quintessential childhood experiences that’s as rewarding as it is scary. Prep your precious babe for success by starting them early with the world’s lightest balance bike, the Brilrider FLIGHT. For the uninitiated, balance bikes are no-pedal bicycles that propel forward by pushing off the ground with […]
With so many advancements in modern society, you’d think we’d have moved beyond the butane lighter by now. A pressurized, flammable gas, butane fumes can irritate your eyes and skin, can elevate your heart rate, and even lead to cardiac arrest. And we did mention that whole highly pressurized and flammable part, right? While certainly […]