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Smithsonian National Postal Museum

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The Art of Cards and Letters

The Art of Cards and Letters spotlights the important, personal, role mail has held as a medium for personal communications. As Samuel Johnson once said, "in a man's letters his soul lies naked." The emotional outpouring of love letters, the topical debates between friends and family, the simple "I miss you" are letters we recognize, as sender or recepient.

Although this exhibit is no longer on display in the Museum, selected portions of the exhibit are still available online. Click on the topic titles below to learn more about them.

Letters that bind families

Letters that Bind Families
Letters bind separated families and friends together in special and remarkable ways.

Mail call

Mail Call
"Mail Call" For decades, that precious announcement has lifted the spirits of millions of military personnel.

Undercover: The Evolution of the American Envelope

Undercover: The Evolution of the American Envelope
Follow the progression of envelope manufacturing in America through the 19th century.

Related Links:

Your Letters are Read with Eagerness exhibit

Civil War Soldiers' Mail exhibit

An Explosion of Mail exhibit

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