Saturday, September 23, 2017

Stories of a Moment in Time

And now for something that is completely different from your regularly scheduled GFF farm blog!

If you like postal history and/or philately, you will find that I periodically do write about my hobby and share here.  I very much enjoy finding old postal artifacts and researching them.  During the Winter months I will make a goal to spend some time in the evening researching and writing up a page for an item or two in a fashion that I think is interesting.

If you have problem viewing any of these images, you can click on them to view them in a larger format.

Links to Another Moment in Time
I am most attracted to postal history items from the 1860's and the surrounding period of time.  This stems initially from my enjoyment of the stamp designs of the period.  But, it is also a very intriguing time in history.  But, you could also say that it attracts me for a couple of other reasons.  First, it is far enough removed from the current day that the negative events feel less immediate.  It's easier to view them from a safe distance.  And, second, there is no way I have the time to look at all eras and all places.  Pick and choose your area.  And, since it is a hobby, you go with what is interesting to you as you are looking around.

I used to think that I wanted to just do a stamp collection, until I realized that filling all of the spaces was not only impossible, but it was darned expensive.  Then, I learned about postal history and found a way to combine my love of the postage stamp with my enjoyment of history.  One of the cool side benefits is that you can actually acquire some stamps that might otherwise have been unobtainable if you are willing to gain knowledge in the postal history field.

The item above is a legal notice that was most likely ignored by the recipient.  At the time, most mail was kept at the post office for pick up.  If an item was not picked up, it might be returned to the sender (if that was known).  The interesting thing about this one is that I have actually known people who were in a similar situation and took a similar approach to a legal summons.  It caught up to them eventually.  I wonder if it caught up to this person?

Traveling the World on a Shoestring
Our choices in life have allowed us to travel limited amounts.  More than some, less than others.  But, neither of us is interested in great amounts of travel either.  The neat thing about postal history is that you can take a virtual trip, like this letter that traveled from Southwest France to Southern Spain.   

And, if you like maps, you can combine that into your hobby.  It just so happens that my grandfather had an O gauge model railroad that we used to enjoy running when we would visit.  So, the added bonus is the little factoid about the different rail set up between France and Spain. 

People Were Different, People Were the Same
Every time I see the familiar in an old piece of postal history, I actually develop a sense of belonging and a sense of kinship with people from different times and places.  The item shown below is a "prices current" that was sent with buy prices for meats, grains and other common agricultural items. 

The simple fact that people dealt in the production, sale and delivery of foodstuffs reminds me of a common thread that spans nations, cultures and generations.  But, the small differences are what make it all so very interesting.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled farm blog.

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