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Monday, April 13, 2009

The urban archaeology collection of amateur radio call sign post cards

While on holidays in Tasmania recently, Roz MacAllan showed me a few postcards with funny typography she had just found in an antique shop . . . "yes, Roz - I have a small collection of them, they're call signs or QSL cards LEARN MORE - amateur radio was the first narrow band sharing platform". We agreed that they are interestingly strange. I promised to get them up on the viewersite blog to show her, only that commitment has been frustrated until now. I need another blog just for visual data so as not to bog down our successful wordpress blog so I've gone to blogger to create this second EPHEMERAL blog for multiple visual disclosures.

I decided to arrange my selection from the most local card to the most far away place from Brisbane Australia - Norway, only I'm frustrated with the authoring and the options. I've taken the full 76 cards down one ADSL user has told me it takes ages to view . . . so here's the first 4 Australian cards for starters. Next I'll do other blog entries with more cards at a time and use the post date options to get the more recent posts under this post - seems a silly way to beat these authoring rules so that the header is at the top?

I have scanned both sides of the cards as I've found the reverse detail is also as important to a varied reading of signs, symbols, identity and yes - the philately aspect. The circle + #15 is the stamp of the post card dealer. The dates range from the 1930s–1970s. The paper stocks used are also pointers to the different countries printing techniques, great illustrations in local styles, lettrepress engravings, dot screen selections we just don't see used today, great old hot metal typesetting solutions showing leading and spacing (part and parcel) of the radio call sign language. Different styles of handwriting are evident, personal messages and although I found almost the entire collection in Tucson Arizona - most cards hailed from a Mr Alex Hey Esq, of Harrow Weald, Middlesex England. I'm interested in your comments, always seeking additional info from readers and blogger followers, always looking to purchase more QSL cards also.

--mmc <> made contact today, this person has over 150,000 QSL cards and has published over 6,000 on his flickr archive - awesome!

1 comment:

  1. These are really beautiful cultural markers and time stamps. Thanks for sharing them Mal! Didn't even know they existed until now!