Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Posts tagged "150yearsofpostcards"

As promised, here are a few more highlights from the postcards received to celebrate the 150th anniversary of postcards. All of these make us happy, whether for the text, image, or perhaps for their surprising execution! You can click the images to make them bigger.

150 years of postcards - highlights

Marta from Spain sent us the postcard on the left, bearing a simple but meaningful message, with charming hand-painted decorations. On the right, a handmade postcard from Mary in Russia, who mentions enjoying the opportunity to make unique postcards for her recipients and practice her English skills on the cards she sends out.

150 years of postcards - highlights

This next postcard was handmade by Jessica from the USA and it contains little stars that jiggle when you shake the card! Her message on the back is equally nice and reads: “Postcards have truly let me meet and learn from all walks of life. They help me find my fellow peacemakers. Although the internet helps connect, the emotional investment of sending and receiving a physical correspondence is a true joy no email, comment or like can duplicate.”

150 years of postcards - highlights

Here are two more postcards that made us swoon, from Steffi in France on the left, and Barbara in the Netherlands on the right. Aren’t they exquisite? We love it when people add a little extra something to the message side, and these small illustrations are really sweet.

150 years of postcards - highlights

Liudmyla from Ukraine knitted this cute postman bear, carrying lots of mail to celebrate the big 150th anniversary. What a treasure!

150 years of postcards - highlights

Erika from the Philippines wrote a long and thoughtful message about the joy that postcards bring her at the end of a long commute, and how they broaden her horizons. Daria from Russia, on the right, drew these perfect mailboxes and wrote about postcards being a concise expression of friendship.

150 years of postcards - highlights

We’ve also received a few shaped postcards, but this one was particularly surprising… it’s a party plate! Tali sent it from the USA, with a fitting message: “Postcards are like mailing a smile”. 😍

And that’s a wrap on the 150 years of postcards posts! We’re planning to post more images on our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) throughout the coming months, so keep an eye on those if you’d like to see more of these postcards.

So, for the big reveal: we received a total of 1141 postcards! Keep an eye on your mailbox ceabcowen, your guess was the closest and we’ll be mailing you a little surprise.

And last but not least, thank you everyone for your enthusiastic participation in this project. It was an honor to celebrate this historical milestone with all of you, and we hope you enjoyed the experience as much as we did. Onwards, to another year of adventures and happy mail stories!

on

Tags:

If picking the most creative postcard images on the 150 Years of Postcards contest was a tough job, choosing three best messages was even harder. All these heartfelt words tugged at our heartstrings and it seemed impossible to put a postcard down, or somehow judge some as “better” than the others… how to choose?!

In the end, the three postcard messages we’ve picked are all different, but special in their own way. So here they are, in no particular order.

Annie from Wisconsin USA, sent a postcard with a very simple message, which neatly sums up our feelings about postcards:

“A postcard is a hug sent through the mail.”
Annie's postcard

We liked this quote so much that we ended up printing it in a big font and featuring it front and center at the UPU exhibition in Switzerland. The other side of the postcard is a quilted masterpiece, featuring both fabric and stamps (see it here).

Juice sent in a postcard featuring her own handmade design of a tree in Autumn (see it here). She wrote:

Juice's postcard
“As someone with loosely-settled roots in many places, sending postcards gives me a chance to spend precious moments with friends, family and acquaintances across the world. I cherish the opportunity each card gives me to pass a little time with another person, across geographic and temporal boundaries, and I find the transformations each card undergoes in the mail, along with the new light each card is illuminated by in the hands and eyes of its recipient, almost inexplicably magical. In today’s world, it is perhaps more important than ever to attend to how and what we communicate. Postcards provide refreshing ways to share feelings, ideas, and time not only with words but also with images, physical objects, and embedded love.”

Well said! We also often think of postcards as time that we spend with someone far away, and imagine our words being held in that person’s hands, bearing the marks of a long journey across the world.

And last but not least, Claus from Germany sent a postcard showing an illustration of a mail carrier in Hamburg (see it here), with beautiful stamps. On it, he wrote a short but delightful poem about postcards:

Claus postcard

"Postcard!

A picture
A thought or two
A stamp
A touch of paper
The beauty of it all.

Out in the open
Close to the heart.

Memories in the making
Memories to keep.

Please, Mr. Postman, come again soon!"


Congratulations to the three winners, who will each receive a box of 100 postcards as their prize!

Next week, we’ll bring you some more highlights from the nice postcards that have landed in our mailbox for the 150 years of postcards celebrations.

By the way, would you like to try guessing how many postcards were received? 😊 Leave a comment below with your estimate (a number between 500 and 2000), and next week we’ll reveal the grand total and send a little something to whoever gets the closest guess first, without going over it. Good luck!

on

Tags: ,

Can you imagine the avalanche of happy mail that landed on Postcrossing’s mailbox for the 150th anniversary of postcards? 😅 It was *a loooot* of postcards, each of them unique and special in their own way, and all filled with excitement for this historical milestone.

Admiring and reading through all this lovely mail was an overwhelming task which took way longer than we had anticipated, and picking just a few postcards to award in the categories of most creative postcards and best message was a really tough job. But we had a mission, so after many days rearranging postcards on our desks, here is our choice for the top three creative cards sent to the 150th anniversary contest (in no particular order).

Antonia's mailbox see-through postcard

The postcard above came to us from Antonia in the United Kingdom. She hand-painted and crafted this card showing an old British postbox with postcards inside. Photos don’t do justice to this card though, because you can’t tell that the mailbox is covered in transparent film, allowing you to peek at the postcards floating inside. One of them is even a mini-replica of the postcard itself!

Antonia's mailbox see-through postcard - back side

The backside is equally nice… despite Royal Mail’s mutilation of the stamps 🙄. Antonia writes that she learnt how to read and write late in her childhood, and that the prospect of writing used to fill her with dread, but that this changed through writing letters and postcards, and that she has finally found her voice. What a wonderful message, in a truly exquisite postcard.

Next, we have a postcard from Indonesia, sent by Cherlita who is a design student:

Cherlita's illustrated postcard

The illustration is simply gorgeous, and we love the stamp and postmark details that work together to resemble a maxicard. The actual stamps used to mail the postcard are on the reverse side, and they’re personalized stamps using the same image as the front of the card — neat!

Cherlita's illustrated postcard - back side

Cherlita has a charming handwriting, and she writes about how postcards can take us in a “small, physical form” to our loved ones, strengthening our bonds with them.

And last but not least, Franziska from Germany crafted the most unusual postcard.

Franziska, Tim and Tom's postcard

One side of the postcard looks like a normal postcard, with a beautiful message about how much her young sons Tim Mikesch and Tom Lukas enjoy sending and receiving postcards. When you turn the postcard around though… magic!

Franziska, Tim and Tom's postcard - back side

The reverse of the card resembles a German postbox, and what could be hiding inside? Postcards, of course! Lots of mini-postcards of the children’s favorites cards, as well as happy moments the family has shared featuring postcards. How sweet is that?! Each card is lovingly written and stamped, and a mini-treasure on its own.

Franziska, Tim and Tom's postcard - inside

So there you have it, these are the three winners in the most creative category for the 150th anniversary contest, each of which will receive a box of 100 postcards. Hurray!

As you can probably imagine, there are many, many more postcards that we want to show you because you guys truly outdid yourselves in this call for postcards. So we hope to feature more special postcards on our social media as well as here in the blog in the coming weeks.

Next task though should be picking the best messages… wish us luck! 😅

on

Tags: ,

Montgomery Blair hall

So, earlier in the year we had an ambitious idea of putting together a postcard exhibition to celebrate the 150th anniversary of postcards, collecting images and messages from around the world to showcase our collective love for this small format of communication. We contacted a few people and then the opportunity came up to do this exhibition at the UPU, an incredibly important institution that brings all post offices together in cooperation.

They had lots of walls in their headquarters in Bern, though most of them were covered in art… except this one, a huge 10 meter wall divided in 2, on their ground floor lobby. It was black and had the peculiarity of having over 200 deactivated mailboxes on it. Postcards like mailboxes though, don’t they? It seemed like the perfect match, so we decided to go for it!

We received hundreds of postcards in the past couple of months on the call-for-postcards we launched for this exhibition. Choosing just a few of them was a hard job — some were gorgeous works of art, others had heartfelt messages and many were both!

Putting together the postcard exhibition at the UPU

While choosing the postcards to take, we noticed that many of them would be tricky to hang on a wall due to their thickness or odd shape. Also, some of the postcards only made sense if people could see both sides… so we came up with a solution: since we were sticking postcards on mailboxes, why not opening one and leaving some postcards there for people to browse?

Putting together the postcard exhibition at the UPU

This turned out to be a good call, as the “Browse me” encouraged people to get up and close with the postcards, giving them permission to touch and interact with the exhibition. For us personally, it also helped ease some of the pressure of picking just the right postcards, as we could bring a lot more of them!

Some of you have asked whether we’ve taken pictures of every postcard displayed, and I’m afraid we have not. Carefully shooting every single one would have taken a lot longer than the time we had. We brought as many postcards as we could to Switzerland though, posted some images on the 150yearsofpostcards.com website, and are planning to take some more photos of the postcards and their messages when they return to us at the end of October. We don’t want you to feel sad if yours didn’t end up at the UPU — all the postcards we’ve received are unique and so very appreciated. 💛

So finally, here is the result:

Postcrossing postcard exhibition at the UPU Postcrossing postcard exhibition at the UPU Postcrossing postcard exhibition at the UPU

We’re very glad that everything went well, and that we were able to successfully display your messages, images and mini-masterpieces at the UPU. Although the building isn’t open to the public, many delegates from post offices all around the world will get to see and read your postcards throughout this month, while they attend the many events that are happening in October. We hope they too understand how special postcards are in the digital age, and what role they play in connecting our lives — and, indeed, the whole world.

And lastly, here’s a little making-of video of the whole setting up operation that we shot with a borrowed camera. 😊 It took 2 days to put together, with a lot of time spent cutting and measuring. Enjoy!

PS – Our big thank you to Olfa and Stéphane UPU’s philately department, for making this possible!

on

Tags: , ,

Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for: it is exactly 150 years since the first postcard was sent!

As the very first postcard was being sent on October 1st 1869 in Austria-Hungary, few people could anticipate the mail revolution that would ensue, or just how long postcards would last. One hundred and fifty years later, we’re still just as happy to discover a bit of sunshine on our mailbox at the end of the day, or to send a smile to loved ones or strangers far away. It’s inexplicably charming how something so simple can bring so much joy. 😊

150 years of postcards

Earlier this year, when we noticed there didn’t seem to be that many activities planned to commemorate the anniversary, we decided to take matters into our own hands and use the power of the Postcrossing community to celebrate this historical milestone. We’ve contacted postal operators and postal museums, and also invited you guys and the whole world to join the party by creating events and spreading the word about this anniversary. The response was just amazing! Over one hundred events are taking place in 34 different countries, including 58 meetups, 11 exhibitions, 8 cancellation marks, 8 workshops, 6 seminars, 4 commemorative postcards issued by post offices, 3 guided tours, 2 postage stamps about the anniversary and even one country offering free postage on postcards sent today. Hurray!

We’ve also invited everyone to participate on a postcard exhibition at the Universal Postal Union headquarters in Bern and hundreds of you have sent postcards and expressed your love for the medium in creative forms. We teared up going through all these small tokens of love, and it was a real struggle to pick the 200 or so that we ended up bringing with us, as they were all incredible. So many of you have written about connection and healing, about traveling and learning, about conquering fears, making discoveries, teaching little ones and making the world a smaller place. They were all messages of hope and appreciation, and it was our huge honor to carry your words with us to the UPU and hang them on this 10 meter wall.

150 years of postcards

All throughout October, postal delegates from all countries in the United Nations will walk this lobby and browse these postcards. They too, will realize how much we all treasure these little pieces of paper that travel the world in our stead. We’re so proud of each and every one of you, for your enthusiastic participation and creativity — this would not have happened without you!

150 years of postcards

We plan to show you more of the exhibition later, but for now, it’s time to celebrate! Join a local event if you can, or just take the time to write a postcard (or 10!) to someone you care about to spread the happy vibes.

And last but not least, happy birthday dear postcards!!! 🎉

on

Tags: , ,