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Old 01 April 2011, 05:01 PM
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snopes snopes is offline
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
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Police John Underwood, Andover, Mass

Comment: I don't see any reference to the old post office dead letter
office story regarding a letter addressed simply as:


which was purportedly successfully deciphered and delivered to John
Underwood, Andover, Mass.

I'm curious about the amount of truth in this story.
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Old 01 April 2011, 05:36 PM
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Avril Avril is offline
Join Date: 07 August 2002
Location: Princeton, NJ
Posts: 10,547

January 2002 reference here seems to assume it's just a legend.

Popular Science ran an article in 1952 that seems to give more details. It cites Claude Miller as the origin of the story.
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Old 01 April 2011, 06:23 PM
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I don't know anything about the specific example; but at least some post offices would, years ago, deliver to non-standard addresses, if they could figure out who was meant.

In the 1970's, as a joke, I once sent a postcard addressed to:

All Those Weird People Out Past the Mitchells
[Town, State, Zip]

It got there.
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Old 07 April 2011, 03:19 PM
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I remember hearing a story ( possibly a legend ) about somneone in the late 1800's who sent a letter to a friend of theirs, who was a travelling missionary in Africa. It was addressed:

Rev. Somebody
West Africa

And got to him.
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