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Some months ago, we received a message from Janna (aka revode) who told us about her visit to a wonderful postcard exhibition at the Porter County Museum in Indiana! Sadly, we couldn’t go there ourselves… but the cheeky Little Mail Carriers were happy to jump in and volunteer for a guided tour. 😍 Here is the report from their latest adventure!

The Little Mail Carriers standing in someone's hand, holding some letters to be delivered

Hello everyone! We have arrived at the Porter County Museum in Valparaiso, Indiana! We heard that the PoCo Muse has an exhibit with hundreds of postcards on display until January 7, 2024 so we decided to come check it out!

The Little Mail Carriers stand on a table, with a postcard in front of them. The card reads Happy Postcrossing

The Porter County Museum was founded in 1916 and has over 20,000 objects in their collection related to the history and culture of Porter County, Indiana. With so many objects in the collection they rotate through what is on display frequently in order to tell as many stories as possible. When we visited, the Robert Cain Gallery was featuring art from the museum’s collection, the Eunice Slagle Gallery had the exhibit “Connections: Take a Closer Look”, and the Montague/Urshel Gallery featured (the exhibit that we traveled here for) “Ever Yours: Postcards from the Golden Age”.

The Little Mail Carriers stand facing a museum wall with framed pictures

Before searching out the postcards, we explored the Robert Cain Gallery, admiring the work of many Porter County artists who worked to capture scenes from the area. The art in the Cain Gallery rotates out every three months, so that there are always new things to see.

A Little Mail Carrier stands in a museum hall, facing the exhibits which are set on glass domes.

Walking through the museum to get to the postcards, we had to journey through the “Connections” exhibit where seemingly different objects from the museum’s collection are paired together with a variety of connections between them. This concept allows for a wide range of objects to be on display. Did you know that there has been a Popcorn Festival in Valparaiso every September since 1979?

The Little Mail Carriers stand in front of a small scale reproduction of a traditional barn from the USA, made out of wood

One of the first objects we came across in “Connections” was just our size! It is a scale model of the Maxwell/Remster Dairy Barn which was made by John Remster Sr. for his son John Remster Jr. in the 1950s. The barn can be opened up and played with and has been played with by every generation of the Remster family since its creation! Unfortunately, the barn it is modeled after no longer exists, though the milk house that was connected still stands.

A Little Mail Carrier stands in front of a museum exhibit showing a comic strip on a stand on the left, and a linocut print on the right, under a glass dome.

These two pieces are connected by being not the final product. The linocut block (right) shows the artist, Hazel Hannell’s home that was in Furnessville, IN. No prints made from this block are known to exist, though you never know what might be in someone’s attic. The “Brenda Starr Reporter” comic strip was written and illustrated by Dale Messick who lived in Ogden Dunes, IN and inserted many local and personal references into her strip. The comic is in the final stage when it comes to the artist but not for the reader who ultimately would have seen this in the newspaper.

A Little Mail Carrier looks out to a taxidermied dog across the room, resting underneath a glass dome

I swear that dog is watching us… 🤨

A Little Mail Carrier look on to a postmarking device, hanging from the museum ceiling

Check out this postmark stamp! It is from a town that no longer exists! The Tassinong Post office was founded the year after Porter County was founded in 1836, making it one of the earliest European settlements in the region. By 1884, almost all of the Porter County post offices were receiving their mail by rail, Tassinong was one of two still serviced by horseback. At the turn of the 20th century, when the Kankakee Marsh was being drained, the people of Tassinong refused to allow a proposed rail line to come to their town. The railroad, instead, bypassed the village and promoted a new town called Kouts. In 1903 the Tassinong post office was discontinued with all of the people relocating to somewhere serviced by rail.

The Little Mail Carriers stand atop a commode that also has on it a very old, very fancy cash register, with lots of colorful buttons and a cursive Get a Receipt sign across the top

Can you imagine checking someone out on this cash register? This is a nickel plate brass National Cash Register manufactured in 1914 sold to Wark’s Hardware in Valparaiso. The register worked perfectly at Wark’s until the early 1990s when someone broke into the store and broke the machine. Mr. Wark was not one to throw things away just because they didn’t work, so he disconnected one of the cash drawers from the machine and then it became a very large cash drawer until the store closed in the early 2000s.

The Little Mail Carriers stand in front of Daisy, a taxidermied dog. The snout is visible above them.

Turns out she WAS watching us! This is Daisy the taxidermied dog and her eyes follow you! She is 90 years young and belonged to Helen Slanger of Portage, IN. She has been in the museum’s collection since the 1970s and has become an unofficial icon of the museum.

The Little Mail Carriers look from the floor, up to a gigantic postcard reproduction, that is the start of the postcard-themed exhibition

After journeying through ‘Connections’, we finally made it to “Ever Yours: Postcards from the Golden Age” — the exhibition we had been looking for! I don’t think that that postcard will fit in a regular mail slot…

A Little Mail Carriers looks onto a panel, explaining the early history of postcards

Did you know that the first postcard was created in 1869!?

The Little Mail Carriers stand on a rail, in front of a vitrine showing old postcards

The PoCo Muse has over 2000 postcards in their collection. How did they narrow it down to the couple hundred on display? The wall of postcards that are behind us here were all received by one man, John Griffin, from Valparaiso, IN!

The Little Mail Carriers sit on wall posters and look at old postcards

Did you know that approximately 1 billion penny postcards were sent every year between 1907 and 1915?

The Little Mail Carriers look onto a museum exhibit of a particular postcard

All of these flip books have both sides of a historic postcard with transcriptions! This one is a real photo postcard showing Lila and Thaddeus Whitlock posing with their dog Maxie. Lila sent this to her daughter Olive who was studying Nursing in Iowa in 1912. It is nice to see that people have felt conflicted about their selfies from the beginning; “I was so engaged in trying to keep Maxie still, I forgot to look pleasant.”

The LMCs sit on top of one of the exhibits, comparing postcards to social media

The exhibit makes the comparison of postcards to social media of today. The message is public since there is no envelope, the amount of text is limited to the space available on the card, and it is accompanied by an image which might be compared to today’s use of memes. Just like social media today there was pushback to the use of postcards with detractors saying that postcards symbolize “the triumph of the commonplace.”

The Little Mail Carriers stand atop an album filled with old black and white postcards

This binder of postcards shows an individual’s collection of historic postcards that they loaned for the exhibit. In the early 20th century it was common to invite guests over and flip through your postcard collection. Similar to showing friends vacation photos.

The Little Mail Carriers stand on a table, among coloring pencils and booklets with printed old postcards to color

After reading all of those postcards it was nice to color some for ourselves. Plus once we are done coloring the booklet, it can be turned into a postcard — just tape it shut and add a stamp on the back! On the wall above, the many postcards sent to the museum are on display, which helps to show that postcards are still thriving today! Hurray! 🎉

Thank you to the wonderful team at the Porter County Museum, and especially Visitor Experience Manager Quinn, for opening their arms to the Little Mail Carriers and showing them around. If you’re in the area, the exhibition will be there until January 7th, so don’t miss it!

The little ones are back on their envelope and on their way to their next adventure… who knows where they’ll pop up!


To many, the name “Mulready” might not ring a bell… but more avid postcard-connoisseurs will know that these were the grandfathers of postcards! Introduced in May 6, 1840, Mulready stationery were pre-paid postal envelopes designed by artist William Mulready as an alternative to the Penny Black stamp. Despite the intricate design symbolizing the British postal system’s reach, they were mercilessly mocked at the time and overshadowed by the popularity of adhesive postage stamps.

Sometime ago, Graham Beck from popular Youtube channel Exploring Stamps produced this great video about Mulready stationery, in which he interviewed Robin Cassell at Stampex. Robin is an expert and dealer of this type of items, and tells its fascinating and troubled story. If you like philately and postcard history, don’t miss it!

Are there other videos or resources out there about postcards that we should check out? Let us know in the comments — we’re always eager to learn more!

A black and white photograph of Major Charity Adams

In the US, February is designated as “Black History Month”, intended to highlight the stories of the many African-American people whose stories have often gone unheard. In honour of that, I’ve been looking into the story of the “Six Triple Eight”, the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, a non-white battalion of the Women’s Army Corps, made up of 855 women in total, commanded by Major Charity Adams and Captains Mary F. Kearney and Bernice G. Henderson, who were themselves African-Americans. Charity Adams (pictured right) was the highest-ranking Black woman in the US army by the end of the war. When the army proposed a white man to manage the battalion, due to lack of faith in their ability as a non-white unit to manage the job without supervision, she reportedly refused to countenance this (with the words “Sir, over my dead body, sir!”).

Though the group is often referred to as having been the only all-Black, all-female battalion to be sent overseas during World War II, that’s not quite true. There were also Puerto Rican women in the unit, and at least one Mexican woman. Nonetheless, white women were not a part of this unit, which was active from 1945 to 1946, and sent to the UK to manage a backlog of mail that was not being sent to the soldiers it was intended for. Their motto: “No Mail, Low Morale”.

The 6888th Battalion during downtime
Second Lt. Freda le Beau serving Major Charity Adams a soda at the opening of the battalion’s snack bar in Rouen, France. Source: New York Times.

By all accounts, the task they faced was monumental. The mail was unsorted and just lying around, with millions of items, including parcels containing food (some of which was apparently being nibbled on by rats). This was Britain during the Blitz, so the women were also working in shifts in the dimly-lit warehouses—and the warehouses were also freezing cold, prompting the women to wear long johns and extra layers of clothing. The packages and letters themselves presented a problem: addresses weren’t always clear, and there were often soldiers who had the same name, or mail addressed to men by their nicknames.

Nonetheless, the women got the job done. They created a card index of soldiers’ details to help them in their task, an index which ultimately included around 7 million cards. There were three shifts of eight hours each day, and each shift cleared approximately 65,000 pieces of mail. They used clues in the letters and parcels to piece together to whom they should belong, updating the cards as they went. In the end, they completed their task in three months, rather than the projected six! They took their assignment seriously, and I’m sure their efforts made such a difference to soldiers who thanks to them finally got word from home. If postcards bring us joy now, imagine how much those letters and care packages meant to soldiers in World War II. The Six Triple Eight restored both mail and morale, and in record time too.

The 6888th Battalion Members of the Six Triple Eight Battalion taking part in a paradeon parade
Members of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion take part in a parade ceremony in honor of Joan d’Arc at the marketplace where she was burned at the stake. Source: National Archives at College Park.

After the war, the group was disbanded. They ultimately received the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, and finally, in 2022, the Congressional Gold Medal. As of 2022, six members of the battalion were still alive: Romay Davis, Cresencia Garcia, Fannie McClendon, Gladys E. Blount, Lena King, and Anna Mae Robertson.

Apparently, there’s going to be a Netflix film about it, so perhaps more people will learn about the Six Triple Eight soon—will you be planning on watching it? Did you know about this battalion’s story already?


Did you know that there is such a thing as a Pony Express Museum? The Little Mail Carriers heard about it and wouldn’t stop badgering us to go… so when Duane (aka DuaneThePhilatelist) offered to take them for a visit, they jumped on an envelope and off they went. Here they are, to tell you all the story of that adventure.

Pony Express cancellation mark

Hello from a sunny St. Joseph, Missouri! We’re super excited to be taking a special tour of the Pony Express Museum today, and hopefully will learn a lot about this unique way mail was delivered back in 1860. The museum is actually inside a part of the Pike’s Peak Stables, from which westbound Pony Express riders set out on their journey — how cool!

The Pony Express was a short-lived mail service that delivered newspapers, letters, telegrams as well as government and commercial mail using riders on horses across the United States, between St. Joseph in Missouri and Sacramento in California. Here is a superb map of their route, which you can see in great detail on Wikipedia:

Pony Express Map William Henry Jackson

Why was there a need for this service though? Well, back in 1848, gold was found in California, and a lot of people rushed there in search of the opportunities it brought. California was a new state at the time, and its population was growing fast, so there was a lot of demand to connect the west coast with the rest of the country.

At the time, the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company ran a stagecoach service between Kansas and Missouri, and they thought that starting an express service could perhaps earn them a more lucrative contract with the United States government. So the Pony Express was launched on April 3, 1860, when two riders left from the opposite ends of the route, and completed their journeys of 1800 miles (or 2896 kms) in 10 days — an amazing feat that many thought would not be possible!

First Pony Express ride

The Pony Express recruitment announcements were infamous for asking for young, skinny men, and stating that orphans were preferred. Although the payment was high for the time, the journey through the country was perilous, as there were often ambushes and raids. Some riders were killed and many horses stolen or driven off in the Pauite War with the Pauite Indian tribe, whose territory the route crossed. The Pony Express was forced to temporarily suspend its services due to the conflict, and some mail was lost.

Recruitment ad from Pony Express

Because this was an express service and the journey had to be super fast, riders could not carry a lot of mail with them. To make changing horses quick at relay stations, a special saddle cover (called a mochila) was crafted, which had four mail pouches (or cantinas) on each corner. Mail had to fit in these small pouches, so that the riders could be quick!

Cantinas and mochila

One of the most famous Pony Express riders was William Cody… aka Buffalo Bill! He began working for the Pony Express at age 15 and is said to have completed the longest ride, covering 322 miles (518 km) in 21 hours and 40 minutes, using 21 horses. His adventures were immortalised (and are said to have been greatly exaggerated) in a novel that launched him into the spotlight. Many more books and movies were made about his adventures, in which he often wore a “cowboy” hat.

Buffalo Bill's hat

Mail carried by the Pony Express riders had its own cancellation mark, and in the museum you get the opportunity to sort the mail yourself. Postal work is hard, and we were exhausted…

Sorting the mail of the Pony Express

The Pony Express never managed to secure that government contract their founders had hoped for, and became bankrupt after 18 months, closing on October 26, 1861 — just 2 days after the first transcontinental telegraph started its operations. Despite having run for only a short period of time, the service is immortalised in the tales of the American West, and the original route is even a national historical trail that crosses 8 states.

Pony Express centennial stamp

And that’s it for our wonderful visit to the Pony Express Museum — we are off to explore a bit more, and hope you all have the opportunity to visit someday!

Pony Express sign

And a big thank you to Duane, for hosting the Little Mail Carriers and showing them around the museum! 😀 Who knows where the little ones are off to next… keep an eye on the blog for their future adventures!


Oooooof… World Postcard Day was such a rush! Everywhere we looked, people were posting and tweeting about their postal adventures, showing the pretty cards they were mailing, or giving the world a peak into their happy mailboxes. So many things happened that it took us a while to recover from all the excitement… but here we are now to tell you all about it!

First things first: remember the Stampex Talk we mentioned? It went brilliantly! We had a nice time chatting with Isobel Klempka from Stampex, postcrosser & philatelist Constanze, ABPS chairman Graham Winters, actor and postcrosser Sam West… as well as quite a few of you, who jumped in at the end to show your treasures! We oooh’d and aaah’d at all your stories and special postcards, and had a really good time. If you weren’t at the event, you can enjoy a recording of it below:

A lot more talks about stamps and collecting happened at Stampex between 1–3 October, and you can see an archive of those on the Auditorium of the event.

Singapore Philatelic Museum's event with schools Meanwhile, lots of museums geared up to participate on World Postcard Day! Some showcased the postcards on their collections on social media, others helped spread the word, a few organized workshops or school actions. With the help of the Singapore Philatelic Museum, students in 40 primary schools throughout the country wrote messages of love and appreciation on postcards, to their friends, family and healthcare professionals. For many, this was the first time writing postcards!

World Postcard Day events in Croatian schools

Simultaneously in Croatia, Hrvatska Pošta helped 17,000 students in 500 primary schools throughout the country learn more about mail and postcards with the help of an educational video featuring their mascot, Marko Markica. The students were offered postcards, which they wrote during the class.

Lithuanian World Postcard Day events

And still on the topic of schools, we lost count of the number of times the lesson plan was downloaded! Postcrosser Dovilė (aka VaDovi) challenged her former primary school teacher to participate in the event, which she promptly accepted. They used the lesson plan, postcards were printed, more classes joined and when the day came, 150 students at the Mažeikių Kalnėnų Progimnazija participated in the event, learning about mail, how and what to write on a postcard, where to stick the stamps, etc. Hurray!

The Postcardist logo

Frank Roche (aka Postcardist) put together a special episode of his Postcardist podcast, where we hear about people’s plans for World Postcard Day all around the world. A few postcrossers chimed in to share their plans, and we especially enjoyed hearing about BonnieJeanne’s (aka postmuse) plans to make ravioli for dinner, because they’re often shaped like postage stamps — what a neat idea to celebrate a postal-themed day!

And last but not least, some of you have already started to receive your World Postcard Day badges on your profiles, as the postcards you sent on October 1st slowly arrive to their destinations. A grand total of 45453 postcards were sent on Postcrossing that day — one of the best days ever in the project!

By the time October 1st came to an end, we were overwhelmed with joy and gratitude for all the enthusiasm with which the Postcrossing community embraced the launch of the World Postcard Day. Thank you for spreading the word, sending postcards and helping put this day on the calendar! 💙 It was such a lovely highlight in this gloomy year.

We’re already buzzing with ideas for 2021… but we would love to hear your thoughts too! Got any cool suggestions or plans for next year’s World Postcard Day? Let us know in the comments!