There’s a story about a stamp collector whose particular interest was letters posted at sea. For philatelists who know about these things – and I don’t – there is a wealth of variety in the covers, franks and stamps on letters sent by passengers or crew from naval or merchant shipping, even in the present day.
In pursuit of his hobby, this man sent a polite letter to a naval vessel asking the captain if he would please frank the enclosed stamped addressed envelope and send it back. Outraged, the captain wrote an angry reply telling him not to waste precious naval time, put it in an envelope, hand addressed it, and sent it off with the ship’s mail – and thereby gave the collector a much more valuable item for his collection than he was expecting. Continue reading