Friday, July 24, 2009

The Unaltered Post Office- A Zine

This zine came about on the fateful day when the post mistress saw a mouse in the back room of our little post office.
Being squeamish, she gratefully took my offer to do some cleaning, purging old files and moving the bins of new files into the file cabinets where they belonged. And hopefully displacing a mouse or two in the process. You can imagine my excitement at having the opportunity to excavate old papers and such!

This zine is 99% printed on discarded postal forms (almost everything is done on-line now).

I started a page with a "stamp collection" of vintage and current postal impressions, to encourage the recipients to continue the collection in other post offices. I plan to take my personal copy around to the local post offices here and get their cancelations. Kind of like a passport.

And, of course, there is a goody envelope, containing some of my vast collection of vintage postage and some placards that I pull daily from the mail bags and bins as I sort mail.

I made rubbings of the brass signs that used to mark mail slots in the post office. Now we have "up to date" plastic ones (ick!) and the lovely brass plates are entombed in a file cabinet in the back room. I think I'm the only one who knows they exist. Well, now you know too.
There are still balls of twine stored in a cabinet, back when string was used for securing parcels. I enclosed a sample.

On the last page I made a pocket from a blurb I copied and altered from an in-house publication about the history of the postal service. Seems post masters were once the pillars of their community...
The pocket contains a vintage postcard, suitable for altering, and a couple pieces of yellowed ephemera, from the back room of course. No, they aren't yellowed from mouse urine.
I draw the line there!


Sarah said...

This was one time that I'll bet you enjoyed doing some cleaning! Oh the treasures that must be hiding in some of the little post offices around the country. One can only imagine! Your zine is fascinating. TFS

Linda said...

This is such a collectible! I can forsee bidding wars on Ebay for this one day!!!!!! Awesome!

Ragamuffin Gal said...

OMGoodness Natalie ~ Is there anything that you can't create something beautiful from? You are SOOO creative!

kiwicarole said...

This looks very interesting! So what do you do with it? Do you add to it, or use it like a journal? I'm totally thick/stupid? when it comes to "zines"

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

oooo Nathalie! What you've created with buried treasure is fantastic. I Love your attention to detail AND how you honor the past by rescuing bits of this and kinda gal!!! You have created something really special here...who knew cleaning up could be fun!!!
I have always loved post/mail delivery/postal are lucky to have a behind the scenes view of it all and your rubbings!!! Love them too!!!

femminismo said...

Love the rubbing. You *were* the lucky one to get to excavate through old papers. I love postmarks! - Jeanne

La Dolce Vita said...

How fabulous! you are very resourceful! I just stumbled upon your blog and I will return!

RenMeleon said...

Talk about being in the right place at the right time. Oh how lovely! I would have had a field day being able to bring all of that home. I hope that if they ever get rid of the old brass plates you are able to score one. I would love to get hold of the old post office drawer/bins, I love them. Congratulations! Hope to get one in trade or maybe do an outside trade for one.

Jeanie said...

Nathalie, this is unbelievably cool! What a find!

Bella McBride said...

Oh I'm sooo jealous! I would face down any mouse to get that opportunity! Great work... as always!