The woman that is young the desk at 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 century essay writer ago this month the world’s very first air mail service began
Passed under the counter and into my hand was a typical example of a mode of communication that includes all but vanished. Compliment of Skype, texts and e-mails, there’s little need anymore for the small pale blue envelopes utilizing the diagonal red and blue stripes all over 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 British Air Mail Society Journal, believes that we’re in danger of losing something both powerful and romantic.
“I think it is very regrettable that nobody generally seems to use air mail any more”, he informs me. “We live in a tremendously age that is lazy then one has been lost. There’s a thrill that is huge excitement, and a type of romance in receiving an air mail letter from the other side of the world in your door mat. The web just can’t replace that.”
A hundred years ago this month the world’s very first air mail service began. Flying from Allahabad, near Delhi, only seven years after the Wright brothers made their first forays in to the air, the plane, flown by a pilot that is french Henri Pequet, travelled 15 miles to Naini. On board were six and a half thousand letters including one compiled by Motilal Nehru, father for the president that is first of India.
The united kingdom wasn’t far behind because of the first air mail flight lifting faraway 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 has been sent from Buenos Aires to China in 1938. The letter arrived in 13 days- a feat that would be difficult to match now without having to pay reasonably limited to a courier company that is private.
As a child I thought 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 years of apartheid. It seemed just like getting a personal letter from an esteemed foreign correspondent while the gravitas of receiving these letters was so great 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, in my own hastily returned missives, a massive level 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 ward that is retired in Nottingham, whose husband had a long career within the oil industry.
“He was away for months at a stretch during the 1970’s and I always found the phone that is rushed he could occasionally make if you ask me really unsatisfying”, she recalled in my opinion.
“What I really loved were the occasions when an air mail letter from Kuwait or Dubai would slide through the letter box. It had been only on paper that my husband was really able to express his feelings, tell me simply how much he had been missing me and provide me a truer that is much of what he was going right on through. There’s an honesty to a hand written letter which you can’t be in a phone call or an e-mail. I would love to have the letter, curl up regarding the sofa with a cup of tea and just lose myself in the handwriting for some time. Even though the letters might take ages to reach, I somehow felt closer to him whilst holding an air mail letter than I ever did whenever we spoke from the phone.”
With personal air mail envelopes at your fingertips, i got to my home to realise I’d made a serious error. I wanted to create, but to whom? I had e-mail addresses for my friends based everywhere from Montevideo to Monaco but i came across I didn’t have a single postal address for any of them anymore. So what did i actually do? I experienced no choice except that to e-mail my friends asking with their 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 staying in a age that is lazy. One hundred years from now, will our descendents have any idea concerning the allure of a letter of love, heartache or politics who has travelled throughout the world by plane?