April 21, 2011

postcards, snail mail and Google Books


I love snail mail. In the last month, I've received postcards from the US, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Holland, Malaysia, Switzerland and Bulgaria. Thank you, Postcrossing! Now I get postcards from random people around the world and not just bills in my mailbox, yay. If you want to know how Postcrossing works, please visit the Postcrossing website or read an earlier post I wrote about it: Postcrossing and Bookcrossing.

If you're a follower and would like to exchange postcards and other snail mail with me, please leave me a comment!

I am swapping cards with my blog friend Lynn, who blogs at Present Letters. This is the first postcard I received from her.

postcard of Gateway Memorial Arch in St Louis
The 630 feet (192 meter) tall Gateway Memorial Arch symbolizes St Louis' role as the
gateway to the West during the westward expansion of the USA in the 19th century.

I wrote about the card and the Arch at my postcard blog here if you'd like to read more about it. I always include lots of facts in my posts at Postcard Love, as well as any links I have with the places or things the postcards show, and sometimes what they remind me of.

I decided to post about Lynn's card at  liberal sprinkles  as well because I used a beauty of a resource while researching the Arch and wanted to write about it here at my main blog. I found this interesting article from 1964 : Tallest U.S. Monument (Popular Science, April 1964, page 91) via Google Books. It talks about the construction of the Gateway Arch and has a nice infographic on how its tram takes you all the way up to the top (I love infographics!).

I have to admit I scrolled through the whole magazine (thank you Google Books!!), I love vintage stuff so the magazine design, layout, ads all fascinate me, not to mention the articles. Here's a sampling:
* On page 29 you can see a 1964 Harley-Davidson;
* page 36 has an ad for the new Sony 3-head stereo deck (hey, must have been revolutionary in its days!);
* write-ups and ads on pyramid plans (scams?), job advice, mail order business;
* an article on US supersonic airplane designs (page 67), which I guess never went on to be developed. The Anglo-French Concorde is mentioned, which was first flown in 1969 and went into service in 1976. The Concorde doesn't fly anymore of course. Its business and reputation never quite recovered after a dramatic crash in France on July 25, 2000 that killed everyone on board and four on the ground. It made its last commercial flight in May 2003.
* How a Chevy Chevrolet ended up at the pinnacle of Utah's Castle rock near Moah. That's 1,500 feet above ground, no roads! (page 89)
* How to prefab a home for less than $1,000 in 1964 dollars! (page 100)
* The worst pet in the world (look at page 124 to find out what it is!)
* (from page 144) projects on building stilts, desk, bench, bar, sun canopy etc etc
* (page 168) a drum that allows color processing in 8 minutes (that's one more for the time capsule!)

hehehh you can see I'm a facts and news junkie. And that was not bad at all for an issue that's nearly 50 years old! And great value for money: I paid all of ... $0!! That 1964 issue of Popular Science is available at both Google Books and the magazine's website. At PopSci.com/archives, you can search Popular Science's 138-year archive, and read articles and back issues free.

You can read a lot of stuff for free at Google Book Search. You can get access to books and the back issues (some more recent than others) of a bunch of other magazines like these:

Liberty magazine via Google Books
Life magazine via Google Books

Los Angeles magazine via Google Books
New York magazine, via Google Books

This was actually only the first part of a much longer post about Google Books, copyright and plagiarism but I haven't had time to finish it and then I got another postcard and package from Lynn today!! So I thought I'd better post this first, I'll write about the other stuff separately and include photos of what Lynn sent me as well next time.

Thanks for reading!

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Slidecutter said...

I'm off to look at Page 124; curiosity has gotten the better of me.

Have a lovely Thursday!

liberal sprinkles said...

haha Patty, I guarantee you will hate it!

Almantina said...

hello, thank you for writing a comment in my blog.I'm a pen paler for few years, but I found out about postcrossing just a few weks ago and it's really great :)
I wish you a great postcrossing and maybe one day you or I will receive a postcard from each other :)

liberal sprinkles said...

Thanks Almantina. You're right, maybe our paths will cross again, the world works in a strange way sometimes!

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