Airmail: The allure associated with long-distance air letter

Airmail: The allure associated with long-distance air letter

The woman that is young the desk inside my local post office looked bewildered. “I think we’ve got some somewhere”, she mumbled before returning with a pile of dusty envelopes. “Nobody really asks of these any longer,” she admitted.

A century ago this month the world’s very first air mail service began

Passed under the counter and into my hand was a good example of a mode of communication which includes all but vanished. Thanks to Skype, texts and e-mails, there’s little need anymore when it comes to small pale blue envelopes aided by the diagonal red and blue stripes all over border, extra thin blue writing paper and multitude of stamps and post marks that constitutes an air mail letter. Dr. Richard Saundry, editor of the British Air Mail Society Journal, believes that we’re vulnerable to losing something both powerful and romantic.

“I think it is very regrettable that nobody seems to use air mail any more”, he informs me. “We live in a very age that is lazy the other happens to be lost. There’s a huge thrill and excitement, and a kind of romance in receiving an air mail letter from the other side of the world on your door mat. The world wide web just can’t replace that.”

A hundred years ago this month the world’s very air that is first service began. Flying from Allahabad, near Delhi, only seven years after the Wright brothers made their first forays to the air, the plane, flown by a pilot that is french Henri Pequet, travelled 15 miles to Naini. Up to speed were six and a half thousand letters including one authored by Motilal Nehru, father associated with the first president of independent India.

Great britain wasn’t far behind utilizing the first air mail flight lifting off from Hendon to Windsor later that year. Today the speed that these pioneers succeeded in reaching to get letters around the world is seldom beaten. Richard at the fresh air Mail Society told me of a letter he possesses that was sent from Buenos Aires to China in 1938. The letter found its way to 13 days- a feat that would be hard to match now without having to pay reasonably limited to a courier company that is private.

As a kid I thought there is nothing more exciting than getting letters that are occasional my aunt in South Africa. Covered in strange stamps and smudged post marks, the letter that is creased contain pages of dense hand writing describing life in Cape Town in the latter many years of apartheid. It seemed almost like getting a personal letter from an esteemed foreign correspondent in addition to gravitas of receiving these letters was so excellent that, 20 years on, I still possess them. I still receive news it’s by e-mail, the tone is scrappy and, in my hastily returned missives, a huge degree of effort and attempt at phrasing and sentence structure is missing from her, but these days.

“Getting an air mail letter was so much much better than a phone call”, admits Kate Hunter, a ward that is retired in Nottingham, whose husband had a long career into the oil industry.

“He was away for months at a stretch during the 1970’s and I also always found the rushed telephone calls he could occasionally make if you ask me really unsatisfying”, she recalled in my experience.

“What i must say i loved were the times when an air mail letter from Kuwait or Dubai would slide through the letter box. It had been only in writing that my better half really was in a position to express his feelings, let me know just how much he was missing me and present me a truer that is much of what he was going through. There’s an honesty to a tactile hand written letter which you can’t be in a phone call or an e-mail. I would personally like to get the letter, curl up regarding the sofa with a cup of tea and just lose myself in the handwriting for a time. Even though the letters might take ages to prices reach, I somehow felt nearer to him whilst holding an air mail letter than I ever did when we spoke on the phone.”

With my personal air mail envelopes at your fingertips, I arrived home to realise I’d made a error that is serious. I needed to create, but to whom? I experienced e-mail addresses for my friends based everywhere from Montevideo to Monaco but i came across I didn’t have an individual postal address for some of them anymore. So what did I do? No choice was had by me aside from to e-mail my friends asking for his or her address.

Five days later, and I also still haven’t got around to writing anything- preferring to possess a ‘Skype’ chat instead. Maybe Richard was right about us residing in a lazy age. One hundred years from now, will our descendents have any basic idea in regards to the allure of a letter of love, heartache or politics that includes travelled across the world by plane?