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 for these any more,” she admitted.
A hundred years ago this month the world’s very air that is first service began
Passed underneath the counter and into my hand was a typical example of a mode of communication who has all but vanished. As a result of Skype, texts and e-mails, there’s little need anymore for the small pale blue envelopes using the diagonal red and blue stripes across the border, extra thin blue writing paper and great number of stamps and post marks that constitutes an air mail letter. Dr. Richard Saundry, editor associated with the British Air Mail Society Journal, believes that we’re in danger of losing something both romantic and powerful.
“I think it’s very regrettable that nobody generally seems to use air mail any more”, he tells me. “We live in an extremely age that is lazy then one happens to be lost. There’s a huge thrill and excitement, and a type of romance in receiving an air mail letter through the opposite side of the world on your door mat. The web just can’t replace that.”
A century ago this month the world’s very first air mail service began. Flying from Allahabad, near Delhi, only seven years following the Wright brothers made their first forays into the air, the plane, flown by a pilot that is french Henri Pequet, travelled 15 miles to Naini. On board were six . 5 thousand letters including one written by Motilal Nehru, father of the first president of independent India.
Great britain wasn’t far behind using the first air mail flight lifting removed 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 in the Air Mail Society told me of a letter he possesses that was sent from Buenos Aires to China in 1938. The letter arrived in 13 days- a feat that could be difficult to match now without having to pay a premium to a courier company that is private.
As a child I was thinking there was clearly 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 into the latter several years of apartheid. It seemed almost like getting a personal letter from an esteemed foreign correspondent while the gravitas of receiving these letters was so excellent that, two decades on, I still possess them. I still receive news from her, but these days it’s by e-mail, the tone is scrappy and, during my hastily returned missives, a big degree of effort and attempt at phrasing and sentence structure is missing.
“Getting an air mail letter was so much much better than a phone call”, admits Kate Hunter, a retired ward sister in Nottingham, whose husband had a lengthy career when you look at the oil industry.
“He was away for months at a time during the 1970’s and I also always found the phone that is rushed he could occasionally make in my experience really unsatisfying”, she recalled in my experience.
“What I really loved were the times when an air mail letter from Kuwait or Dubai would slide through the letter box. It was only written down that my husband was really in a position to express his feelings, let me know simply how much he was missing me and present me a truer that is much of what he was dealing with. There’s an honesty to a hand written letter which you can’t get in a phone call or an e-mail. I would personally love to get the letter, flake out from the sofa with a cup of tea and just lose myself in the handwriting for a time. Although the letters what is essay-911.com could take ages to arrive, I somehow felt closer to him whilst holding an air mail letter than I ever did when we spoke from the phone.”
With my very own air mail envelopes at hand, i got to my home to realise I’d made a error that is serious. I desired to write, but to whom? I experienced e-mail addresses for my buddies based everywhere from Montevideo to Monaco but i came across i did son’t have an individual postal address for any of them anymore. What exactly did i really do? No choice was had by me other than to e-mail my buddies asking because of their address.
Five days later, and I continue to haven’t got around to writing anything- preferring to have a ‘Skype’ chat instead. Maybe Richard was right about us residing in a age that is lazy. 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 features travelled all over the world by plane?