Saturday, August 28, 2010

The "Phonopostal"

Reporter Paul Nolan writes on the Radio France Internationale (RFI) website, "France’s post office is often held up to illustrate what’s best and worst about state ownership. But La Poste is about much more than banking and delivering letters. It is also an important patron of the arts."

According to Paul, "The postal museum in Paris's Montparnasse district was inaugurated shortly after World War II. It has become not only a museum of the history of the county’s postal services but also a major cultural institution offering world-class exhibitions."

The museum has also been at the forefront of new technologies. It uses social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare to raise its profile and publicize its collections.

One of the more unusual items to be found at the museum is the “phonopostal” (shown above).

"The strange hand-held gramophone enabled people to record sound by an engraving process onto small cards that could be sent in the post. Even though the experimental device did not take off, it was testament to the French creative and innovative spirit," according to the write-up.

To read the entire article, click here.

[Editor's Note - While you're there, check out the radio feed. Great world music to collect stamps by!]
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM