Jan. 23, 2022

48 New look at old letters

48 New look at old letters

New stamp releases


Postal Bulletin (1/13/22)


Letters of Note IG Account


More letter locking!


More on Edmonia Lewis



Using letter writing to reinforce communications learning


Yoseka re-opening after the holidays


Latinx Stationery


Ink buying ink?


Oldest known seal



48 new looks old letters

John: [00:00:00] Welcome to episode 48 of stationery orbit. We're all here to learn more about creative letter writing. I'm your host, John Weston. I'm joined by our co-host Evan Harris. And in today's episode, we'll be talking about some new stamp releases, the new postal bulletin, and some other stuff about letters that we found out on the internet.

So good morning.

Evan: morning.

John: Doing well, still out on the road, still here, state side, at least for a little while, and excited to be on the air with you.


John: you sent me a link earlier in the week about the new Stanford.

Evan: that's right. We had talked a little about some of these last time, but we have all of the plan to stamps for 2022 available now. , Starting with the palace of fine arts from the mission district in San Francisco. This stamp is going to be well above the standard first-class rate. At $26.

John: yeah, this is the priority mail express stamp. [00:01:00] Yeah. Yeah. And if I remember right, 99% invisible actually did a episode on the palace of fine arts because there are parts of it that I believe her really.

Evan: I believe so, but I have not listened to that podcast and quite awhile. So I couldn't be sure on what the.

John: It's yeah, it's been a while since I heard that episode, so I could be entirely wrong, but that seems to be my recollection. And then we also have a new international stamp coming around with, she is going to be the African Daisy this time,

but they are keeping the, a round format.

Evan: around foreign factor and the flower theme. These will mail any one-ounce letter internationally. We've also dried another priority mail stamp of being monument valley. At least the one image they've shown. I don't know if they're using several different images, but the one image is quite beautiful and then we're getting to the forever stamps.

So we've got quite a few interesting [00:02:00] ones this year coming up.

John: Yeah, we've got one with a shell Silverstein.

Evan: Yeah. I have a feeling that one's based on his book, the giving tree, I have a feeling that one's going to be very popular.

John: very good. And we also have flags on barns,

Which is very Midwestern.

Evan: Very Midwestern and an another version of the American flag series of stamps as it were that one is, those stamps are only going to be at the pre sorted standard rate. So you have to this is a little cheaper, but you have to buy them a coils of 3000 or 10,000.

John: Yup. , that's a commitment for sure.

Evan: Another non some more non-standard rate stamps. You've got floral geometry at $2 and $5 for larger items and small package.

John: Yep. And then the one that I thought is going to be a fun one, just because it looks like it's a, at least a five stamp series is the mariachi [00:03:00] state.

Evan: that's right. Celebrating the Mexican-American music and culture of mariachi. It's a pain of 20 does look like it's five stamps that will be released later this year. And that's also at the first.

John: yep. And moving directly from the stamps into the postmarks, they have the postmarks up for . For monument valley and the palace of fine arts. I do not see one for the mariachi yet, or the Shel Silverstein.

Evan: That's correct. We'll hopefully see those later.

John: Yep. And moving along the going from stamps into actual letter writing I found an interesting Instagram account called letters of note, which is. Associated with that series of books, letters of note, but they're actually taking excerpts from some of the letters and posting them up on Instagram.

So I [00:04:00] thought that was a fun one. The one that really caught my eye was a letter from Richard Fineman to his dead wife, Arlene, back in 1946. And the missive simply said, PS, please. Excuse my, not mailing this. I don't know your new address.

Evan: that's a good one. I like this one sent to Boris Johnson's father. 

John: I thought you might catch that.

Evan: Just because it sounds like something that could still be sent today.

John: Yes, absolutely. And I don't necessarily want to spoil that one. I think if you're listening to this there we'll have a link in the notes to the Instagram account and that one is Valens classic, really? Definitely go take a look at. And we also have some, a little bit of news [00:05:00] from the unlocking history team.

They were featured in an article for study fines and which is, I believe a scientific research newsletter, and this one had a few pieces of. That I hadn't seen before from the unlocking history team, one of the things I wanted to, and I'll read this one out a little bit, because it, I think it's an interesting mindset piece for the way the unliking history team has been working lately.

And it's, I think a statement from the authors in there. The material evidence, a letter preserves about its internal security, including highly ephemeral evidence about tux and layer order, which usually leave no material trace can now be retained for investigation. Our methods therefore create an opportunity for the heritage sector [00:06:00] to protect the integrity of documents, even when there is a need to access their contents.

And I think that's a really interesting statement. Where they're trying to go with their research.

Evan: Yeah, they do a lot of really neat stuff. And that is a very neat way to look at it. Being able to maintain the articles while still getting their information from me.

John: yep. And the other thing that this article has that I hadn't seen before we knew that they were using x-ray technology, but. In this article, they actually specifically call it out that this is x-ray micro tomography, which is a technology that was developed for dentists to map the mineral content of teeth for dental research.

So they have taken that x-ray scanner technology and [00:07:00] combined it with an algorithm that was based on the analysis of 250,000 historic letter. And they're now reverse engineering, these letters using this micro tomography technology. So just really fun little tidbits that I found in this article. And so hopefully the unlocking history team keeps moving along on. Movement through the Brianne collection and we'll be seeing more of them in the future.

Evan: Hopefully.

John: And so moving along the last time around, we were able to talk about the ed Monia Louis stamp release, but we were talking about it from the U S P S press release. And I actually found a article in the bay state banner, which is. Boston. And they are at least in my opinion, in this [00:08:00] article, claiming ed Monia Lewis for themselves as being a Bostonian.

She moved to Boston in 1863, and the article specifically says that she was actually able to watch the. Parade of the all-black 54th, Massachusetts regiment through Boston in may of 1863. So that definitely dates her arrival in Boston. She worked with some of the abolitionists when she moved to Boston and she actually. Painted portraits of William Lloyd Garrison and Charles Sumner, which were two of the leading abolitionists in the.

Evan: Absolutely. It's a really neat article that gets a lot more in depth on why she's being honored and all good things. And last time I talked a little bit about the black heritage stamps. This is you had a continuation of it. That series started in 1979. But the [00:09:00] first African-American subject on the us postal stamp was actually Booker T washer. In April of 1940.

And there's a whole list on USP S of all of the various series of stamps and all of the African-American subjects to be placed onto a stamp.

John: very good. Yeah. Make sure we get that into the show notes, because that was something I had.

Evan: Yeah. So that, so there a lot have been on. Things like the two former more perfect union series had the Montgomery bus boycotts, the freedom riders, little rock nine among others. I'm just strolling through it. This is a long list as it should be. So I'm not saying anything fully comprehensive of the various things.

There was a vintage black cinema series that I did not even know about at all that Saturday intro.

John: Yeah. And and actually that one kind of kicks back [00:10:00] to the letters of interest. There was a letter in the or letters of note Instagram account Sidney Portier 

Evan: I saw that one. 

John: re had written into president Roosevelt back in the. To ask for a fare to get back to Bermuda.

Evan: Yeah, it's a dual visit. His parents. I saw that one.

John: Yep. So yeah, a little tie in there. Not entirely relevant, but just to tie in

Evan: He, Sydney and Portsea would not be on a stamp yet because he's not eligible. He is because to be on a stamp, you have to be dead for three.

John: it dead for three years?

Evan: at least three years, the only exception to that is our presidents who are eligible as soon as they passed away.

John: Very good. There you go. There's another piece of trivia I had no idea about.

Evan: Oh, yep.

So that'd be about a two years, 11 months till he Sidney Poitier's eligible

John: we've actually got a [00:11:00] little bit of news. That's coming out of Baylor university, and this is coming from their chapter of the national student speech language and hearing association, which works. The, there are students that are working in the communication field specifically on speech pathology and they are using this pen pal project to work with a local elementary school, the friends for life in Waco and the Baylor speech language and hearing clinic to try to work with those students or patients to.

Work on their communication skills and do so through a pen pallet project. So I thought that was an interesting overlap of several different varieties of communication and how letter writing helps them.[00:12:00] 

Evan: absolutely. It's getting another one in the interesting projects and genre feels that the best word I can use, but not like it is a great descriptor

John: yeah. Or yeah, body of work. I think genres, not that far off from, for a word for that.

Then to the more nitty gritty of the letter writing stuff, we've got an article in here that , Yoseka a stationery which opened originally back in 2018 as a subscription box has. A physical presence in New York now. And they opened up in Queens and then they've moved down to Greenpoint and they were closed for the holiday season.

But and part of that closure was to move into a new storage space, but they have now reopened. This article was from January 19th, 2022 and so they [00:13:00] are back open and doing business and curating all the fun stuff for stationery lovers in New York.

Evan: yeah. For some reason every time I think of Yoseka, I think there are on the west coast. If I know they're in New York, cause I just feel very west coast.

John: yeah the curation side of things. I definitely can see how you see that as being that kind of a.

Evan: Yeah.

John: Yeah.

Evan: So who knows, maybe I'll do a visit next time. I'm in New York.

John: Yeah, I'd be I'd be a fun one. Unfortunately we've lost a couple of stationery shops in New York, so let's keep our fingers crossed for Yoseka. 

Evan: I'm pretty sure. Fountain pen, hospital stuff.

John: oh yeah. Yeah. I think that one's going to be there for awhile. I think we're good. And moving into. From stationery stores into stationery brands found an interesting article. This is on refinery 20 nines website, [00:14:00] and they have got an article here called five Latin X owned stationery brands for all of your new, your needs.

This one, I'm going to be a little light on details because some of these brands and some of the subjects for their stationery are not suitable for. Work and I'd have to put an explicit tag on this episode, so I'm not willing to do that, but they've definitely got some serious high attitude brands that are part of this and. Some of them are folks that have moved from this fashion world, into the stationery world.

And then there are some of them that are just purely stationery on their branding, but they definitely have some five fun brands that are part of this. I definitely encourage folks to get out and take a look at these. Especially if you are a Spanish or Spanglish speaker that [00:15:00] are, is looking for some high.

Hi attitude, stationery. These are all good ones.

Evan: Yeah, so very neat designs are highlighted. I'm I don't speak any Spanish, so I'm not going to try and pronounce it. Anyway, especially if it's going to get us an explicit TAC.

John: yeah. And I'm kinda with Evan on that. It's I know. Enough Spanish to be extremely dangerous to myself, but not enough Spanish to take a shot at pronouncing anything.

Evan: Oh, where's that? Whereas I took high school, French.

John: Yep. And moving into something. I actually, a couple of very different things towards the end of this episode. It's just a weird article stationery maker, big to buy Toronto temporary tattoo company for $65 million.

Evan: I wasn't sure if temporary tattoos for a still really a thing, but it seems that.[00:16:00] 

John: yeah, not only are temporary tattoos a thing, but apparently these are higher end temporary tattoos with. Are being rolled out and takes 15 minutes to apply these versus the old peel and stick varieties. But yeah, the articles says that they are buying ink box, which made about 27 million in net sales last year. And they're going to be buying them for 65 million.

Evan: Yeah

John: Not bad for a temporary tattoos,

Evan: No. Hopefully the investment lasts a little longer than the tattoo. The

John: Yep. And then the last one last and not least, they apparently there has been a scientific team in Israel that found a 7,000 year old letter sealed. That they found both the seal and [00:17:00] the impressions from the seal, what it was used for.

Evan: Yeah, so we've had found a lot of very old seals or


impressions before. They said we found a lot of old seals and stuff. And seal impressions before, but it's including older seals dating back to about 8,500 years, but this is the first time that we've found such an old pair.

John: okay. With both the seal and impression.

Evan: Correct?

John: Okay. And apparently this one was . Very tightly associated with their storerooms and trade. So when they were signing for deliveries, that was how they were doing the signing for those deliveries. So it was a, an early version of a chop

Evan: yeah. The one thing I find funny, even though it's not quite as old as it, every time you talked about ancient deliveries, I think about the complaint tablets to ed Nasir.

Do you [00:18:00] know about those?

John: no, I don't.

Evan: So the tablets are now on display in the British museum, like most of the ancient world. But these.

Cuneiform complaint tablets written in ancient or data any about 4,000 years ago complaining about the quality of copper that the merchant Edna SERE is T is sending and based on what the contents of these and where they're found, he was keeping his complaint tablets.

John: Yeah. Just imagine the amount of effort that it takes 

Evan: Well, so you're pressing into what play. But yeah, it's not exactly easy to do QA a forum and visited some of the oldest. These are the oldest written complaints we have. And some of the oldest writing physical writing we have is basically hate mail.

John: Yeah. The first documented flame mail

Evan: The seal found Israel is found in Israel's bit Shianne valley, which I don't think you've been to.

John: yeah. Where whereabouts in Israel would that have been.

Evan: I would have to look [00:19:00] momentarily, which Yon. It's in, it's a bit Shyanne is in Northern Israel outside basically Northern Israel, but not the foreign.

John: okay. Good to know. That's going to do it for this episode of stationery. orbit We'll be back in two weeks and looking forward to all of you joining us, then be proud of your snail mail.