Friday, April 29, 2016

Hoover Dam and a reminder to always use ZIP codes

This Plastichrome postcard features one of the scenic outlooks at historic Hoover Dam, which is located on the border of Nevada and Arizona.

The angle of the photograph makes the outlook appear closer to the dam wall than it truly is. (Actually, I wonder if this outlook still exists, given how long ago this was and the number of changes to the surrounding area's infrastructure over the decades.)

The printed text on the back of the postcard states:
"HOOVER (BOULDER) DAM — ARIZONA — NEV. Harnessing the mighty Colorado River to dorm Lake Mead and provide power for the entire Southwest is one of the world's proudest engineering achievements. The spectacular tourist viewpoints are prominent in this picture."
This card was postmarked on May 1, 1967, in Las Vegas, Nevada.1 It was addressed to:

Mr Carl Palm
Mohton R.D. No 1

That address was probably not sufficient for 1967, given that it was four years after ZIP codes were instituted by the United States Postal Service. It might or might not be a coincidence, but the cancellation stamp used on the postcard states: ALWAYS USE ZIP CODE.

The author of the postcard seemed, at least, to be aware of his shortcomings. His note to Carl states:
"I am a little late with this card, But I made sure to send one, but I also hope that you get it because I do not know your address, and I misspelled your Mohnton.
1. Also on May 1, back in 1840, the Penny Black — the world's first adhesive postage stamp — was issued in Great Britain.


  1. Carl Palm passed away on New Year's Day of 1974:

  2. I should add that the township near the dam -- Boulder City, to be specific -- is just one of two places in Nevada where gambling is prohibited.

    The other is the hamlet of Panaca (population 963) along the eastern border of the state, near Utah -- as in fact, Panaca was part of Utah until 1866, thus explaining the ascetic ways of its inhabitants, even to this day.

    I learned all this when I was serving as a Sarbanes-Oxley audit director on behalf of a major gaming client in Nevada over a year ago.