Rocketmail!

Bird? No.

Plane? No.

Original franked letter strapped to a gunpowder rocket and fired over a mountain range in the Eastern Himalayas in 1935? Oh yes.

This remarkable relic of postage history was the brainchild of one Stephen Hector Taylor-Smith, an Indian aerospace engineer who was officially authorised by the king of Sikkim to pioneer mail delivery by rocket. Although the experiment worked, this was a short-lived method (as a few of the rockets exploded, incinerating the ‘rocketgrams’) so examples like this are much sought after. The only ordinary thing about this is where you might find it…. Charing Cross Market – the usual place for discerning collectors. Every Saturday 7am – 3pm.

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