John Lennon was a philatelist

Like many young (and old) people, John Lennon had a stamp collecting phase. His collection is now on view at the Smithsonian's National Post Museum in honor of the US Postal Service's new John Lennon stamp (above). From Smithsonian magazine:

Lennon’s stamp collecting was inspired by his late cousin Stanley Parkes, who gave him the classic Mercury album (with a picture of the god Mercury on the cover) when John was 10 years old. The album’s new owner wrote his name on the title page, after erasing Stanley’s, and beneath it his address at the time: 451 Menlove Ave., Woolton, Liverpool. (The house of his aunt Mimi, later bought by Yoko Ono and given to the National Trust.) As a boy, Lennon prefigured his future of counter culture cheekiness by sketching moustaches and beards on the book’s images of Queen Victoria and King George VI.

John Lennon: The Lost Album (Smithosnian)

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Letter sent in 1945 just now returned to sender

The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper received this returned mail last week. The USPS label says: “Not deliverable as addressed. Unable to forward.” No surprise, considering the letter was mailed in 1945 and the intended recipient had moved from that address before 1970 and has since died. The reporter who mailed the letter is also long dead. "How did a 68-year-old letter get delivered to the Chronicle?" Read the rest

Mysterious letterbox on bridge in Uri Geller's village

A red mailbox has mysteriously appeared on the side of a bridge crossing the River Thames in Sonning-on-Thames, Berkshire, England. Even village resident Uri Geller (yes, that Uri Geller) is puzzled by it. The Royal Mail was quick to comment that "It is certainly not an operational posting facility." (BBC News) Read the rest

Proposal: cats could deliver mail

A variety of animals have been used to deliver mail over the years, from camels and dogs to horses and pigeons. But cats? According to a 19th century article in the New York Times, around 1877 the Belgian Society for the Elevation of the Domestic Cat tested 37 cats for the task by taking them far from the city of Liege where they "promptly proceeded to 'scat.'" Within 24 hours, they had all returned home.

This result has greatly encouraged the society, and it is proposed to establish at an early day a regular system of cat communication between Liege and the neighboring villages. Messages are to be fastened in water-proof bags around the necks of the animals, and it is believed that, unless the criminal class of dogs undertakes to waylay and rob the mail-cats, the messages will be delivered with rapidity and safety.

"Domestic Explosives and Other Six Column Fancies: (From the New York Times.)" - William Livingston Alden Read the rest

Mail-order animal catalog from 1972

Flickr user BryantSpokane scanned and posted "choice pages" from a 1972 Stromberg's Chicks & Pets Unlimited catalog. Stromberg's apparently used to mail-order live chickens, chinchillas, ferrets, armadillos, skunks, badgers, beavers, possums, prairie dogs, and other critters. It's an historical document that manages to be exciting and queasy at the same time -- you can imagine the trembling excitement of a kid in 1972 contemplating this mail-order menagerie, and then imagine the plight of some poor armadillos and badgers and such stuffed into cardboard boxes and sent through the post. Yikes!

Stromberg's Chicks & Pets Unlimited 1972

(via Neatorama)

Cardboard Animal Trophies, for the big game hunter who prefers to ... Man's account of ordering a live monkey from comic book ad - Boing ... Video of shell-less egg one of my chickens laid Chickens stop rabbits from fighting Order a live burro by mail Read the rest