Wednesday, July 28, 2010

fantasy post

Last week I mentioned a research scholarship from the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.

This museum certainly seems to have expertise in pneumatic post, with an online exhibition, details of a pneumatic post children's program and the story of a most wonderful piece of pneumatic mail with "fantasy markings". The markings "TUBE STA. / TRANSIT" were not applied by the Chicago Post Office to this piece of mail but rather later, mysteriously, at an unknown date. Postal historians followed various clues to try and uncover the story of this piece of mail, such as the style of lettering, lack of time and date, and the infrastructure of the pneumatic system in operation at that time.

The fantasy piece of mail reveals something about the social context of pneumatic post in Chicago during the early 20th Century; a little look into the past workings of a pneumatic system, through stamps and other markings.

Image of a cover transported in the Chicago pneumatic tube system from the National Postal Museum site.

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