Blast From The Past : Vintage Stationery When Snail Mail Was The Norm


dsc_2053One of the prized possessions from my childhood days is a stack of writing paper. I call it my vintage stationery since most of them were collected from the 1970s-1980s when I had a number of local and international pen pals. Those were the good old days when snail mail was the norm and I was corresponding regularly with pen pals from Malaysia, Canada, US, Portugal and some other countries in Europe which I can’t remember.

Having a pen pal was a great way of opening up my world during those days without Internet. By writing to people from different countries, I could learn about their culture and way of life. It was also the most ideal way of expressing myself and I’ve loved to write ever since I first learned English.

dsc_2051Every so often, I would purchase a postal order and send it to International Pen Friends in US to obtain a list of names and addresses. This was my way of getting more pen friends from overseas. I could choose the gender (always female) and the countries of the pen pals. Invariably, I would go for those living in North America and Europe because I was fascinated with those countries (they seemed so very far away and foreign!).

International Pen Friends is still around and it’s much easier to get pen friends now as one can pay via Pay Pal or credit card. No more having to go to the post office to apply for a postal order and sending it off by snail mail and waiting weeks for the list of pen pals to arrive.

I think that writing the snail mail way is the best and most effective way of getting to know people from other countries as you tend to make more effort and write more if you are writing a letter rather than an email. I love my collection of stationery as they take me back to those days when corresponding with someone meant a lot more than today even though communication nowadays is instantaneous.