CNN published an article about a postcard arriving at its destination 100 years after it went in the mail. A spokesperson for USPS said,
"in most cases these incidents do not involve mail that had been lost in our network and later found. What we typically find is that old letters and postcards -- sometimes purchased at flea markets, antique shops and even online -- are re-entered into our system. The end result is what we do best -- as long as there is a deliverable address and postage, the card or letter gets delivered."
That's encouraging. I'd rather not consider the possibility of my letters taking that long to be delivered. I must ask though why the Post Office would deliver free of charge mail that has already been delivered. Hmm. Philanthropy? In any event, should a century old postcard arrive at my address I would be elated. I'm including a link below to the CNN article so you can see it for yourself. There is a certain antique look or feel that seems universal in old letters and writings in general. It's not just the handwriting, it's the faded paper and aged ink. I wonder how well my own letters will hold up during the passage of time should they survive a century or two. We undoubtedly have far more ink choices than at any time in history. Even in just the last few years there has been an explosion of ink makers and kinds of inks with varying properties in an unbelievable color range. The standard look for an antique letter is a faded sepia ink, probably iron gall that oxidized to it's current color. That longevity is in itself is a case for iron galls. Add to that the facts that modern iron galls are kinder and gentler than their paper eating predecessors and the availability of acid free paper today and a good case for a traditional ink has been made.
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See you in the mail!