The Hatteras Printing Post Fun Facts

Interesting and quirky fun facts in the printing world. 

Featured Fun Fact

Did You Know? Printing Presses Became Battlefield Allies During the Civil War!

It's hard to imagine, but soldiers used printing presses on the battlefield during the Civil War. Printing presses played a significant role in passing along information, propaganda, and orders to troops during the war. Printing presses were portable and could be transported among armies.

Presses were operated by soldiers who had some experience or were trained to run the presses. Printed material served multiple purposes, like boosting morale, spreading propaganda, and providing information about military operations. Both Union and Confederate armies recognized the importance of effective communication. The printed newspapers were called "camp newsletters" or "soldiers' newspapers" and helped connect soldiers with the latest news on the war's progress. 

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The Hollywood Sign is the Most Famous and Recognizable Sign

Since 1923, this sign has been looming over the town and celebrating the LA community. This sign was originally built for a real estate advertisement however, now the sign is a cultural icon that represents the entertainment industry and the glamor of Hollywood.

The Hollywood sign symbolizes the American Dream and even has come to represent the hopes and dreams of people all over the world.

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Helvetica is the Most Popular Font Ever Used

Did you know that the font Helvetica is one of the most popular fonts ever used?  Helvetica was named Neue Haas Grotesk and was developed by Swiss typeface designers Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffmann in 1957. Over the years, the typeface has been updated with different weights, styles, and sizes.

After some reworkings in 1983, this font was modified and known as subset Neue Helvetica.  Today the original Helvetica family consists of 34 different font weights. Some of the largest corporations in the world use this extremely popular font.  BMW, Target, Jeep, Microsoft, Apple, NASA, and the US Government all use the Helvetica typeface.  

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The Postmaster General is the Next Highest-Paying Federal Government Employee

The postmaster general is the next highest-paying federal government employee after the U.S. President and even makes more than our vice president.  The U.S. president Joe Biden, earns a base salary of $400,000 a year.

In June of 2020, Louis DeJoy was appointed as the 75th postmaster general in the United States. His current salary is $305,681.00 - which is surprisingly higher than any other federal government official including our vice president who earns $235,100 per year.   

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The Highest Print Run In History

J.K. Rowling set the world record for the highest print run of any book when she published Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  

The first order of printing was a whopping 12 million copies! Scholastic used three printers and multiple bindery houses to produce the books.  No other book publication has come close to that size of an order.

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National Dog Bite Prevention Week Was April 9-15th 2023

In 2021 the US Postal Service reported that more than 5400 postal employees had been attacked by dogs nationwide. To highlight this serious issue the US Postal Service has begun a campaign to educate the public using the hashtag: #dogbiteawareness

The US Postal Service also dedicates a week every year to help educate the public on helpful do’s and don’t when it comes to receiving your mail - and to stress the importance of responsible pet ownership. Even friendly dogs instinctively will want to protect their family and home.

Here are some of the helpful Do’s:

  • When a letter carrier comes to your house, keep animals inside or behind a fence.
  • Keep pets on a leash at all times
  • Teach children in your home about how to care for their pets and protect mail carriers

Do Not:

  • Do not accept mail from the carrier directly. Dogs can feel this is a threat. Mail should be placed in your mailbox not handed to anyone. 
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Once Upon a Time, It Was Legal to Mail a Baby in the United States!

Smithsonian curator, Nancy Pope, confirmed and documented in her article “Very Special Deliveries” that several children, including one 14-pound baby, were stamped, mailed, and delivered by the US Post Office between 1914-1915. 

According to Pope, there were few postal regulations and they failed to specify what could and could not be mailed via the postal service. In January 1913 an unnamed baby boy in Batavia, Ohio was delivered by postal carrier to his grandmother about one mile away. Pope writes that “The boy’s parents paid 15 cents for the stamps and even insured their son for $50”.

Pope also details that the longest trip taken by a “mailed” child was in 1915 when a six -year old girl traveled from Pensacola, Florida to Christiansburg, Virginia. The 50-pound little girl made the 721-mile trip on the mail train for just 15 cents in postal stamps.  

The Post Office officially stopped “baby mail” in 1915 after regulators barred the mailing of human beings. Today the USPS regulations allow the mailings of live animals, including chickens, reptiles, and bees - but no more babies.

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Edible Ink Was a Gourmet Treat

Using a Canon i560 inkjet printer, Chef Humaro Cantu of Moto in Chicago, Illinois, began producing edible sushi in 2005. Chef Cantu prepared some of the most mouthwatering sushi plates for his guests while using edible ink.

Although the restaurant is now closed, at the time people offered to pay up to $240 to sample his unique menu.

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The Christmas Card Was Invented in 1843

Sir Henry Cole was a busy English socialite who struggled to respond to all the written correspondence sent by his many friends.  Sir Cole had an ingenious idea.  He asked his friend, J.C. Horsely, who was an artist,  to draw an idea Cole had sketched out.  

Cole took that drawing - a picture of a family sitting at a table celebrating a holiday - and had one thousand copies printed by a local printer.  The image was printed on thicker paper and was around 5 ⅛ x 3 ¼ in size.  At the top was printed: “A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year To You”.

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Paper Invention 

Paper was invented around 100 BC in China. In 105 AD, a Chinese government official, Ts’ai Lun was the first person to start the paper-making industry. It is thought he made paper by mixing finely chopped mulberry bark and hemp rags with water, mashing it to pulp and laying it flat, and then pressing out the water and letting it dry in the sun.

Previously, people communicated by carving pictures and symbols into tree bark or painted on cave walls or clay tablets. It took almost 300 years for Ts'ai’s “paper” to travel to the region that is now known as the Middle East.

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KISS Teams Up With Marvel Comics

In 1977 at the peak of their popularity, the famous rock band KISS teamed up with Marvel Comics and created a special edition (and at the time very controversial) comic book. The four members of the supergroup KISS traveled with Stan Lee to the Marvel Comics printing facility in Buffalo, New York.

A nurse drew blood from each member of the group (Gene Simmons, Paul Stanely, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley). The event was even recorded by a notary public to confirm authenticity. Their blood was then mixed with red ink and used to print their special edition comic book ”A Marvel Comic Super Special!:  KISS”.

This comic turned out to be a success and sold over 500,000 copies. It was Marvel’s best-selling single issue for several years until the 1990s with the relaunch of Spider-Man.

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The Hulk Wasn't Always Green

Marvel's The Incredible Hulk was not always the recognizable green that we all know and grew up with. The Incredible Hulk was created by super hero extraordinaire Stan Lee. After writing the first issue of his Incredible Hulk comic, Lee took his drawings to be printed. Lee originally envisioned The Hulk to be the color gray. Lee was hoping his character would have mass appeal and didn’t want him to have any one ethnicity. However, the printer struggled to keep the gray consistent on every page.

For the 2nd issue, Lee changed the color of his famous character to green. The printer found it was easier to print in green rather than gray. Lee later said in an interview, "It turned out to be a great choice. By making him green, I was able to give him nicknames like "the jolly green giant" so I'm very glad we made him green."

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Print Messaging is Less Annoying than Internet Messaging

Printing has been found to be 43% less annoying than the internet. Customers are often perturbed by the large number of junk emails and ads. Surprisingly, they now appreciate a nice catalog, letter, or a thank you note in their mail.

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