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Marion Smykowski, Loading airmail, late 1930s,...

Marion Smykowski, Loading airmail, late 1930s, in Detroit. Marion’s father, Leo, can be seen at his store in a photo in the History of Detroit article.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It sometimes astounds me how the likes of Amazon and marketplace sellers who trade via the sell-anything leviathan make money.  It is of course economies of scale, selling cheap but selling many still works but there are times when the numbers just seem impossible to add up.

Take for example a headphone adaptor I bought.  When I ordered it it said it would take up to five weeks to be delivered, the next day it said it had been dispatched but would take a fortnight to get to me.  Even my favorite couriers couldn’t take that long, where was it coming from, I laughed, China?  It was Singapore to be precise, by Air Mail.

The two week travel time still had be envisioning old DC3s full of mailbags but in reality it was no doubt transported along with thousands of other bits and pieces in a cargo 747.  Again it’s that sharing of the cost of the flight amongst all the other items that meant I still only paid £1.99 postage (it cost me nearly as much to post a package a hundred miles across Britain last month) but still it’s another example of our modern global commerce and I wonder how many tiny adaptors are flying around above our heads, enroute to exotic locations.