Postcrossing Blog

Stories about the Postcrossing community and the postal world

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How do you imagine things will look like one hundred years from now? Minority Report-style interfaces? Teleportation? Universal translators? Or perhaps space colonies… It’s hard to make predictions, right?

100 years ago, French artist Villemard did just that, in a magnificent collection of postcards which Vivento brought to our attention some days ago. They provide a delightful glimpse into the imagination of our great-grandparents, and what they thought the future would look like in the year 2000. The postcards are currently owned by the Bibliothèque nationale de France, who suggests they might have been used to accompany food products, similar to Hildebrand’s chocolate packaging.

Some predictions were rather accurate, others… not so much. Take a look:


An operator would sit in its cubicle, while machines would break rocks and assemble a building.

Villemard - En l'an 2000

Firemen had wings to better fight fires!

Villemard - En l'an 2000

In the school, books were somehow processed in a machine (with a hand-powered crank) and then transmitted to students.

Villemard - En l'an 2000

A chemical dinner – it’s funny how a meal was portrayed in a very elaborate and formal setting, even if food had been condensed into pills and could technically be swallowed in 2 seconds…

Villemard - En l'an 2000

At the tailor, measurements would be mechanically taken, and a machine would then produce a suit from rolls of fabric.

Interestingly, some things weren’t going to to change all that much in Villemard’s imagination… like fashion sense! :)

The collection consists of 25 postcards, and they’re all fascinating – with lots of flying machines! You can check them out on Tom Wigley’s set on Flickr.


If you have ever seen an Anne Taintor postcard, mug, or greeting card, you would know. Her website tagline is, “Making Smart People Smile Since 1985”. Taintor takes classic photographs and old-fashioned drawings and adds clever words to them, in a newsprint style. For example, her very first piece used an old picture from a National Geographic magazine photo. The photo shows a businessman type wearing a pressed collared shirt, shorts and dress socks. He is with two women in classy dresses and they are standing on a balcony overlooking some exotic location. She clipped out the newsprint worlds, “intellectuals gone bad.” It was funny and offbeat and spawned many more creations.

anne taintor postcards

How did Anne come up with her kooky collages? According to her website, it was 1985 and Taintor had suddenly gone from a stay-at-home mom to being the sole breadwinner of her household. She needed to make money – and fast. She went to a career counselor, where she was asked what skills she had. Her response? “I can make collages.”

anne taintor postcardsanne taintor postcards

She started from there, cutting out magazine photos and making collages. She clipped the words and added them, poking fun at society and gender roles. She even started typing her own words instead of simply cutting them from magazines! She was told to give up many times, but Anne persevered. Her style is defined by clever and witty observations of images from the past that many people would simply have taken at face value, but she turns the image on its side and points out the hilarity of the situation!

anne taintor postcards

Today, Taintor is well-known and her many classic creations make people chuckle all over the world. You can find more of her work on, as well as in gift shops and greeting card stores everywhere.


We’re a bit late to this announcement, but here it goes…

postcrossing themed

The two winners of the giveaway are myshadow from Canada and AleksAndFlo from Germany. Congratulations!

And a big thank you to BrendaP, for sponsoring this giveaway! :)

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This weekend’s giveaway is sponsored by, an online shop run by BrendaP, who was addicted to Postcrossing but found it hard to find nice cards… so she decided to start her own shop!

Today she is offering a set of 25 Postcrossing themed cards to 2 lucky users!

postcrossing themed

To participate, have a look at Brenda’s shop and leave a comment below, with a greeting in your own language. We’ll randomly pick the two lucky commenters by this time next week. And have a nice weekend!


We’ve already told about the artist who spent several years mailing himself strange unwrapped objects. But it seems that the hobby of mailing oneself quirky objects through the postal services has antecedent roots, as writes John Tingey on a newly published book. “The Englishman who posted himself and other curious objects” is the story of a 19th century’s man and his passion for the postal services and their quirkiness. Here’s the synopsis:

The first impression of W. Reginald Bray (1879–1939) was one of an ordinary middle-class Englishman quietly living out his time as an accountant in the leafy suburb of Forest Hill, London. A glimpse behind his study door, however, revealed his extraordinary passion for sending unusual items through the mail.

The Englishman who posted himself and other curious objects In 1898, Bray purchased a copy of the Post Office Guide, and began to study the regulations published quarterly by the British postal authorities. He discovered that the smallest item one could post was a bee, and the largest, an elephant. Intrigued, he decided to experiment with sending ordinary and strange objects through the post unwrapped, including a turnip, a bowler hat, a bicycle pump, shirt cuffs, seaweed, a clothes brush, even a rabbit’s skull. He eventually posted his Irish terrier and himself (not together), earning him the name “The Human Letter.”

He also mailed cards to challenging addresses some in the form of picture puzzles, others sent to ambiguous recipients at hard to reach destinations all in the name of testing the deductive powers of the beleaguered mail carrier. Over time his passion changed from sending curios to amassing the world’s largest collection of autographs, also via the post. By the time he died in 1939, Bray had sent out more than thirty-two thousand postal curios and autograph requests.

The Englishman who posted himself and other curious objects is available at
Pray tell, what was the strangest thing you’ve ever posted? :)