Friday, October 12, 2012

"Dear Doctor" Postcards

Tom Fortunato writes on, "Back in the mid-1950's, doctors in the United States began receiving colorful postcards from exotic locations around the world advertising a popular anesthetic drug known as Pentothal Sodium. Its manufacturer, Abbott Laboratories of Illinois, developed a scheme to mail a postcard every couple of weeks to hundreds of thousands of doctors and health facilities on its giant mailing list, first to US addresses and then others abroad."

Fortunato says, "Each card starts with the salutation, 'Dear Doctor,' hence the nickname of these collectibles sometimes referred to as 'Dear Doctor' cards, followed by a message regarding the virtues of the drug. By the way, you probably know the drug by its more common name, truth serum, made popular in movies and TV shows during the spy era! This was 'junk mail' at its finest."

"There has been rather little written about these cards by either or deltiologists (postcard collectors) or philatelists (stamp collectors). But each group will find them interesting, as did their lucky recipients, " according to Fortunato.

He goes on to say, "The cards all bear native scenes depicting the people, places, or culture of the country it was mailed from. They came from every corner of the globe, including such locales as Antarctica, French Polynesia, Panama, and Spanish Sahara. Each was mailed the cheapest way by surface (boat) mail using colorful stamps of the period. Some were mailed in bulk and postmarked all on the same day. Others were spread out over several months and can be found with different stamps and postmark types on them. They were even sent on the first day of issue for some stamps."

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM