Some great comments and emailed feedback from my recent Postmark Experiment. Here are some of my favorites:
Before his retirement after 40+ years at the USPS, my father was a postmaster for several post offices in Puerto Rico (where they currently have only 1 APC on the whole island! – a travesty to be sure), so I was taught at a young age all of the official state abbreviations, got to climb into the very first long-life vehicle (the now-common mail trucks that replaced the Jeeps), and was required to use the APC to send just about anything to my dad. So, that fact that someone else not only uses and enjoys the machine, but also experiments with the machine makes me feel like I am not the only post office nerd in the world. (From Sara)
Maybe things have changed since I was a youngster, but in the good old days, I’ve sent letters with S&H Green Stamps, stamps from book clubs and so on. ( There may have been the odd stamp from the Columbia Record Club in the mix). IIRC, they all arrived just fine. (From Mister Zip)
And in the same vein:
There are some guys here in Chicago that make “art stamps” that are most interesting when sent through the postal service and canceled. Some with guns, drugs, boobs, odd things to run through the post office. And they’ve had some nasty nasty nasty dealings with “the man”. http://www.badpressbooks.com/mhdl.html (From smonkey)
Finally, a LiveJournal reader reminded me about my all-time favorite postal experiment, and one of my favorite things on the internet period:
Having long been genuine admirers of the United States Postal Service (USPS), which gives amazingly reliable service especially compared with many other countries, our team of investigators decided to test the delivery limits of this immense system. We knew that an item, say, a saucepan, normally would be in a package because of USPS concerns of entanglement in their automated machinery. But what if the item were not wrapped? How patient are postal employees? How honest? How sentimental? In short, how eccentric a behavior on the part of the sender would still result in successful mail delivery?