The Signal has been issued since 1960 by Raimo Kaarna in Lahti, Finland !

Every single penpal listing has been 'composed' by Raimo already for 51 years. He has made the all the lay-outs and printing originals, even printed several issues back in the 60's, at first with a manual Roneo mimeographing machine and two electric Rex Rotary stencil duplicators, in the 70's and 80's with Signal's own Gestetner 200 and 210 offset printing presses.

In the 80's and 90's most Signals were printed on high speed multicolor newspaper web offset presses, like Signal issues 1/2004 and 2/2004. The Signals of late 90's and this century 2000's have been printed mainly with two digital Ricoh Priport duplicators.

At first the texts were written with manual typewriters, later with electric IBM ball typewriters, Varityper cold composing machine, then with IBM 72 and IBM 82 electronic composing machines and Morisawa MC-201 Photo Typesetter headliner... Signal's first computer was Orborne I bought in 1986, later it was upgraded into a Goldstar 286, Tandy 386, Huyndai 90 MHz Pentium, the newest computer is Targa Visionary multimedia pc. The printing originals are made with the computer and laser printers, or at present as pdf-files when web offset printed.

All the Signal magazines printed in the last 51 years - some 382.000 copies - have been stuffed into envelopes and taken to the local post offices just by one man, Raimo Kaarna. Now the work burden has become a bit lighter as the main circulation media is the web, internet, information highway...
This publishing system also lessens the very expensive and heavy postal expenses a lot. In all the Signal has paid far over US$ 50.000,00 for postage stamps alone, not to mention the high costs for web offset printing, or the ink and paper when printing the Signals myself, envelopes, circulars etc.

Below you see some front pages of the Signal with information about each issue. I hope you'll find this "Signal history" worth reading ! I am showing also the front pages of other mail order and correspondence magazines from the 60's here...

Raimo Kaarna, the publisher
P.S. The above text was written some five years ago. Some machinery has been changed thereafter, the computers, scanners, printers etc.


The front cover pages of the Signal penpal magazine
- 1960-1969 - 1970-1979 - 1980-1989 - 1990-1999 - 2000-2008

This page will be continued later as I have time...
More photos, more history of penpal publishing.
Also other international penpal papers' photos will be seen here in the future.

Raimo Kaarna, the publisher


ON FRIDAY JULY 15TH 2011
THE SIGNAL GAVE AWAY OLD PUBLISHING MACHINERY :

- 3 offset printing presses, Gestetners, Roto
- 3 digital printers, Ricoh Priport
- 1 Morisawa Photo Headliner
- 2 electronic IBM Composers
- 1 NuArc repro camera
- 1 paper collator, 1 paper folder
- 20 desktop computers
- 6 computer monitors, 2 scanners
- 4 black & white laser printers
- 3 electronic typewriters
- 4 refrigerators, 1 color-tv, 2 phones...
FOUR MEN WERE LOADING THE LORRY FOR 4 HOURS. BUYING PRICE US$ 30.000-50.000 IN THE LAST 40 YEARS - NOW I HAD TO PAY 50 EURO TO GET RID OF THEM ! FUTURE SIGNAL ISSUES ON THE INTERNET AND PRINTED ON LASER PRINTERS...

ALSO THE ADDRESS WAS CHANGED ! NEW ADDRESS:
RAIMO KAARNA, PUROKATU 18, FI-15200 LAHTI, FINLAND
Do NOT use the old PO Box address, it is NOT valid any more !