Apparently, electronic Christmas cards in the 1960s could have happened

1960s e-card

Back in the 1960s, there was a plan to deliver Christmas cards electronically, but it was nothing compared to how we do things today. A book from back in December 25, 1960 from writer, Arthur Radebaugh‘s known as”Closer Than We Think”, outlined how it might be possible to send electronic Christmas cards. It was a feasible plan, but it could have been an expensive thing to pull off, which is why no one ever attempted to actually do it.

How does it work? Well, first you’ll have to create a Christmas card and drop it off at the post office. From there it will be scanned and send a facsimile of the card a satellite or bounce it off the very moon itself. The post office in your neck of the woods would pick it up, reproduce it and have it hand delivered to your doorstep.

I have to say, if they had pulled that off in the 1960s, everyone would have likely gone cookoo for cocoa puffs, or whatever cocoa flavored cereal was around at the time.

From the book, “Closer Than We Think”:

“Christmas cards of the future may be transmitted electronically. The post office is studying the use of space technology for quick movement of endless quantities of mail between widely separated points.

To do this, microwave stations would be set up. Envelopes would be opened mechanically, and automatic “fingers” would remove the contents and expose them to a scanner. Impulses from the card or letter might be beamed to a postal satellite or even the moon, bounced back to the destination point, reproduced there in the original printing or handwriting, sealed in a capsule and delivered. All this might be done minutes from the time the communication first arrived at a post office thousands of miles away.”

These days, we send an email or a message via an instant messenger. Can we improve on this? I’m pretty sure we can, but I don’t know how so fire away with your ideas.

[via Smithsonian]

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