Figure 1: The paper QSL added a touch to the ham’s experience.
Back in the day, the QSL card / post-card was a prized possession. We lined our walls with them, and anticipated the receipt of every new one that arrived in the mailbox. These days, it’s an electronic stamp in a database that “verifies” our QSOs, and somehow the romance is lost in that. Yeah – it saves a stamp, and they don’t have a cheap rate for cards anymore, but it’s hard to wax nostalgic about electrons in a memory chip. The Olde’ Print shop cards, with the funny home-brew cartoons and personalized touches, really added a dimension to the hobby.
I have a box of cards here still, but it’s a rare day that one is requested, and these days I’ll sometimes not get a return card even when I enclose a SASE. It’s not their fault – because the electronic verification doesn’t prod the order of any paper ones to have on-hand. Still, it seems like something lost – like the evening glow of the 811’s.