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Vintage Addresses and Government Cartoons: 1963, When Los Angeles 6 Became Los Angeles 90006

I’ve used ZIP codes all my life, but didn’t know they didn’t exist until 1963.  Looking at all the old papers that we had hoarded, I noticed all the old addresses didn’t have zip codes.

Addresses in the suburbs didn’t have them at all, and addresses in cities like Los Angeles had one and two digit codes. My father lived on Mariposa, Los Angeles 6. City offices were in Los Angeles 12.  I guess I would be living in Los Angeles 33 back then, or maybe 32.

Then, in the 1960s, zip codes were on everything. I learned that this little piece of paper above was part of a large advertising campaign to promote the use of zip codes. It’s for sale on Ebay.

The Smithsonian has a Postal Museum, and they have documented it extensively. Anyone who has rolled out a technological change, or run any kind of large-scale educational effort, will enjoy it.

The campaign was a huge undertaking, but I think it was a success. They implemented a national numbering system and got adoption in a few years.

This makes me wonder if the problem with promoting the ACA is that they didn’t create a kawaii cartoon mascot.  The right wing did a fantastic job of branding with “Obamacare”.  I liked it, and though of it positively… but the Obama haters hated it.  The left wing could have countered with:


Then, maybe we would have had a “public option” and would be on our way to Medicare for All. Grrrrrr.

I can feel you laughing derisively at me for that. Well, consider this. According to local activists, the Olympics suck. They’re all about big money and pushing poor people around. I’m clueless about the whole issue, and not that into sports, but, I do remember some of the cartoon mascots.

Untitled.pngGosh, how evil can the IOC be, when you have these cartoon ambassadors keeping it all KAWAII.

I didn’t even watch the Olympics in Barcelona and Vancouver!

Of course, there are some duds, like London’s mascot, which is some kind of stainless steel slug-leech-cyclops football hooligan uncircumcised dildo with a Chinese tattoo:


And that fist. Why a fist? All the other mascots have their hands open, like they want to be friends, not get into a fight.

I guess that mascot is for the kind of grim country where a conservative guy like Winston Churchill can establish a socialist healthcare system.

Don’t think the left can’t use cartoons. This one is pretty awesome. I reads “Nuclear Power? No Thanks”, and it’s a sun, and it’s in German.  Yes, the country that almost had a nuclear bomb in WW2., and then had emigrants who contributed significantly to the US nuclear program.


Thirty years later, this sticker probably helped push Germany toward solar power, kicking our asses in that regard. (Healthcare as well.)


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