Tag Swift Post

W. Reginald Bray

I was browsing in an ultra cool book store in Brooklyn and came across a title I could not pass up. John Tingey’s “The Englishman Who Posted Himself and Other Curious Objects,” tells the story of how accountant and postal regulation enthusiast W. Reginald Bray became “The Human Letter” and “The Autograph King.” From the 2010 review in the New Yorker:

Bray (1879-1939) was an avid collector who amassed stamps, postmarks, train tickets, and girlfriends, and who, after reading the entire British Post Office Guide, impishly determined to take the rules as challenges. He tried posting an unimaginable array of things, to see whether the post office would deliver them. At one point or another, he mailed a bowler hat, a rabbit skull (the address spelled out on the nasal bone, and the stamps pasted to the back), a purse, a slipper, a clothes brush, seaweed, shirt collars, a penny, a turnip (address and message carved into the durable tuber), an Irish Terrier, and a pipe, among other curios.

Needless to say I loved it and it inspired me to send a few return address experiments of my own today. Will my letter to PJ reach all the way to the fictional address in Saipan before it reaches him in California? Who knows, but it’s worth 45 cents to find out.

More on Bray on the author’s website.

Mail Art Outbox: Captian Biology


I’ve been sending more mail recently and this is a good example of what it’s been looking like. I follow a few mail artists scan blogs, including Frips and It’s Only Mail Art Friends, if I see someone I want to correspond with I’ll copy the scan (they’re hi-rez) and extract the return address to print on my own envelopes.