The Postcard Machine, Renegade Craft Fair


This was one of my all-time favorite booths from the Renegade Craft Fair. Thinking about it now, it’s still making me smile.

On walking by, people didn’t notice this machine on first glance. It was situated in a spot where a booth should have been, with no tarp or tend, and looked like maybe a billboard or some kind of extension for some nearby booth.

However, on walking by, you heard the sound of someone on a small speaker system, speaking in a semi monotone/robotic voice.

Hello. I am the Postcard Machine. Possibly from the Future.

On hearing someone’s voice… people would turn their heads to look. And at that point, that’s when the machine got a little… personal.

Hello there. I like your green sweater.


The realization process was a lot of fun, and as an observer… it was even more fun to watch other people’s reactions as they slowly realized that this was an actual working vending machine.


Here’s how it works: you place your two dollars (or more) in the slot on the right.


Then, you adjust the knob to select a particular type of postcard (Renegade postcard, Words of Wisdom, Machine’s Choice, etc).

It should be noted that, as people were turning the knob, the Postcard Machine would go Beep boop boop boop beep.


At any given time, there was usually a big crowd around the machine. I came back here multiple times to take photos, and just to watch people break out into smiles.

This machine was a great idea, and I’m guessing the person inside did really, really well during the fair. I’m betting, too, that it must have been awesome to watch all those faces, smiling back. What a great idea.



Words of Wisdom from the Postcard Machine. This was by far the best human-powered-robotic-postcard-vending-machine I’ve ever encountered.

One of my favorite moments: a guy walked by with his wife, and pointed to some food that was nestled behind the machine. When he mentioned that there was someone inside waiting to each lunch, the Postcard Machine responded:

I heard that. Please do not take the Postcard Machine’s cheeseburger.

Great, great idea. I wish there was some site I could point you to, but the only thing on the postcard is an email address. If I find out who the creator is, I’ll post a link back on here.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Hello. Thanks for sharing this. I live in South Africa, but love the concept of Renegade. I find it so inspiring and especially love this idea. How smart!

    Nadia - Cupcake Couture Reply


  2. Hello!
    perhaps by now you know, but the Postcard Machine is Michelle Ott of Oakland. She’s an incredible artist.

    jami Reply


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