Thursday, May 8, 2014

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 141

Commemorative postcard featuring Ernesto Marini, 2014

My wonderful friend who lived in France recently moved to Italy and has started sending me Italian postcards and stamps.  This is a commemorative postcard celebrating the 100th anniversary of the company founded by Ernesto Marini that made among other things postage stamp albums for collectors.  

The card has one side blank for the message, the front side has half devoted to a photograph and half available for the stamp and addresses.  In this case the stamp was pre-printed on the card.  Notice the pale image of the postman riding the horse and blowing the horn to announce the arrival of the mail.  It reminded me a bit of the Pony Express in the United States, although they did not use a horn. The image also reminded me of the red horn mailboxes in Scandinavia. My friend said the horn symbol for mail is used in Germany as well.

Ernesto Marini was born in Venice, Italy on 9 October 1870 where he continued to live until he was 5 years old at which time the family moved to Genoa.   When he was in his twenties he worked first as an accountant in a shawl factory and later was appointed director of the company.  Before he was 30 years old he had founded a new business based on his interest and passion for graphic design, typography and advertising.  Within three years he was writing travel guide books about Italian cities such as “Genoa the Superb.”   The venture did not prove to be as profitable as he hoped so he moved to Milan to do graphic design printing which eventually included postal albums. 

Marini had collected stamps as a boy and since his father had a large correspondence that included many envelopes with stamps, as an adult he continued to have a keen interest in the stamps and stamp collecting.  He searched for stamp collecting album pages to organize and keep his collection and when he could not find what he was looking for he began making them himself.  He called the company and the product “Italian Philatelic Material EM.” 

By 1916 his company had a 16-page catalog describing the products the company manufactured and included a price list.  In 1932 his daughter, Adriana, joined him in the business.  In later years his son, James, and other members of the family joined the company and today the products are open to international markets collaborating with other companies in the industry.  A compendium called the Almanacco Philatelic contains extensive historical information in every issue.

In 1944 Ernesto Marini retired to the countryside near Genoa for health reasons.  He died in 1945. 

More information is available at the sites listed below.  They are in Italian but can be translated into other languages.

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