Prepare yourself, this could come as quite the shock. We … like postcards. A lot actually. Okay, perhaps not the biggest revelation? But don’t worry, we’ve got 9 tries left and we intend to leave you wowed, wiser and, if possible, unwittingly signing up to our postcard fan club.
In fact, we love postcards and the post so much that we’ve been doing some postcard-related research. BEAR WITH US: research and postcards may not sound like the ingredients to truly mind-blowing facts, but think of it like pizza and pineapple – odd yet enticing. Open minds, please.
Wherever you stand on the pizza-pineapple debate, one thing’s for sure. With a few of these crazy post facts up your sleeve, you’ll be able to distract anyone from starting future arguments on the subject. Deal?
Can’t get enough of post and postcard fun facts? We get it! In this article on international postcard postage, you can find both the most expensive and the cheapest postage costs around the world – did you know that postage in the Denmark costs a whopping $4.44 ? Not exactly a bargain!
Post fun facts #1May’s unusual trip by post to Granny
We can all imagine our moms considering this option, right? ? 5-year-old May Pierstorff‘s parents, at any rate, were not happy with the price of a ticket. The fare for humans that is.
The 53 cent charge for sending 50-pounds worth of chickens via mail, did, however, seem reasonable to them and May was able to undertake the journey to her granny’s house as an oversized honorary chick. Her savvy parents attached 53 cents worth of stamps to her and she obligingly traveled with the other letters, packages and presumably chickens in the mail compartment of the train. Not to worry though, May traveled with a relative who worked on the Railway Mail trains before being handed over to postman Leonard Mochel, who delivered her safely to her grandparents’ door. Just doing his job you understand – nothing to see here. God only knows what granny had to say about the situation!
Needless to say, this practice did not continue for long and was finally made illegal in 1920. But in the meantime, a number of children were actually posted to their destinations. Madness!
Post fun facts #21/10 of a calorie in the USA
The adhesive on the back of a U.S stamp is 1/10 of a calorie. That’s right, one whole tenth of a calorie. Lick 20,000 of those bad boys and that’s your calorie intake allowance for the day.
Not very nutritious of course, but it’s one way to do things. This is not endorsed by MyPostcard. 😉
Funnily enough, British stamps on the other hand, are around 5.9 calories due to a starch based adhesive. So if you’re looking to loose a few, best avoid the Royal Mail!
Post fun facts #3Yummy Belgium chocolate stamps
If we really can’t dissuade you from licking those stamps though, then you may as well try some tasty ones. Although you may be a bit late off the mark. In 2013, 500,000 stamps were made which both smelled and tasted of chocolate. Three guesses who made ’em.
Yep, Belguim, of course – who else gets to be so confident of their chocolate prowess? It’s the country equivalent of a swagger.
Post fun facts #4The only floating post office in the world
It turns out Michigan is pretty small. We assume. Because what possible reason could there be to locate the Michigan post office in the middle of a giant lake otherwise? Kinda cool though, right? Not only does it float with its very own moving postcode, it also delivers all sorts of supplies to other boats and ships.
A more dangerous mission than you’d imagine as it happens. In 2001, the captain and a crew member were killed as the boat was caught in the wake of the MT Sidsel Knutsen, a much larger boat which they were delivering to. The rest of the crew were saved and the boat itself was later salvaged and continued its service.
Post fun facts #5Teeny-tiny records-stamps
These tiny little records-stamps were issued in 1973 in Bhutan in sets of seven. Among the tunes on offer was the Bhutanese national anthem among other folk songs played in both English and the national language, Dzongkha. If you consider these stamps a step too far, you’re not alone. The adorable little records were labeled tacky for decades until they were listed in a collector’s book and suddenly gained significant value.
If we’ve made the sale for you, or you’re a keen stamp collector, head to eBay. Sets sometimes surface at just over $300 but the price keeps rising. Get ’em while they’re hot!
Post fun facts #6Kitty-cats working as postmen
You may well be thinking ‘but … why?’. We’re right there with you. In 1876 in the city of Liège in Belgium, a test was carried out, where 37 cats were driven to the countryside, with water-proof bags tied around their necks and expected to find their way home.
There are three things that will forever baffle us about this scenario. The first being, of course, that someone actually thought this was a legitimate idea, ripe for the testing. Secondly, that more than one person thought this. And thirdly that of all the potential post-delivering creatures out there, they chose cats. Cats! If you’ve ever met a cat, you’ll know they tend to be fickle at best. We expect they looked kind of adorable though.
You won’t be surprised, however, that the experiment did not see a single birthday. Or any kind of anniversary for that matter. Of the 37 special operations cats designated as post officers, just one made it to its destination within the day – in less than five hours too! The others took 24 hours.
Strike 2, Belgium. Guess you can’t say they won’t try something new…
Post fun facts #7Stamp collecting – a VERY expensive hobby!
We mentioned stamp collecting already. And while we’re all for a bit of harmless fun and hobbies, this particular case seems to be going a tad too far. Even as the world’s rarest stamp, this 1-cent British Guiana stamp dating back to 1856 seems to be a bit on the expensive side at 9.5 million dollars. It sold at Sothebys’ auction back in 2014.
This price can perhaps be partly explained by its … errr… colorful history, having previously been owned by a Mr. John du Pont, a convicted murderer. However much it is worth though, the stamp itself is disappointingly unimpressive and faded in person – so there’s no need to feel too sad if it’s a little out of your price range.
Post fun facts #8A cave of wonders
Ooooh, a cave of wonders! Perhaps not quite as sparkly as something you’d see in Aladin, but worth a ton for all that. The Stamp Fulfillment Center in Kansas City, Mo. in the USA houses roughly five million square feet of space and sees almost 1500 employees working there.
Just the fact that it is estimated to be about 270 million years old is pretty impressive, but the 400-600 million dollars worth of stamps stored there at any given time helps too. The 72-degree temperature makes it perfect for storing them.
Post fun facts #9The ultimate stamp licker
The Victorians were clearly concerned with their figures. Because, and we’re convinced this was entirely down to the 1/10 of a calory found in stamps, this era saw the invention of the … wait for it … Stamp Licker. Uh-huh. And the name couldn’t be more straightforward: the device was actually used to lick and moisten stamps.
People who owned these objects must have received and sent a whole lot of mail; old-timey Kim Kardashians we imagine.
So now you have plenty of fun fact ammunition to confuse or delight your friends with. Lucky you! Whip out these stories at Christmas when cracker jokes fail to amuse, or at the dinner table when the conversation is slipping dangerously into shop talk. Oh! So many options!
Read more: We bet you are a fan of postcards now. Learn more about the surprisingly cool history of postcards and why you should be sending them to friends and family – and of course, MyPostcard is the easiest way of sending postcards 😉