Pentothal Book Scheduled for Printing in 2004

Now on sale- see below.

By Tom Fortunato
written March 6, 2004

Dr. David Lai has been planning to write a book about Abbott cards for several years, not from the philatelic angle, but their significance in the history of anesthesiology and drug marketing. He received a grant from Abbott Labs to uncover not only the details of their origins, but actually build a collection of cards, as the firm never thought to archive them for posterity when they were mailed.

I'm pleased to say that enough evidence has come forward recently that his original publication plans for 2005 or 2006 have been moved up to this year! Much of that credit goes to club members who have shared their items and stories.

Mark Batty Publisher LLC (formerly based in West New York, New Jersey has agreed to publish the work. It will feature a few pages about the history of the cards, with its primarily focus on the cards themselves, depicting as many types as possible. The book will be roughly 200 pages and 6 by 8 inches in size, selling in the $14-$24 range. Production will be completed by June, with a worldwide release date of this October. As you can tell, this is very much on the fast-track!

The publishers wish to reproduce the cards from originals to get the best quality image. The following cards been recorded on my master checklist, but are not in my own collection to lend for this effort:

#4 Buenos Aires - 4 City Views B & W
#9 Buenos Aires - Gauchos
#15 Vienna, Austria
#17 Bahamas
#26 Canada - Confederation 1867 - 1967
#36 Comoros Islands
#39 Ecuador
#57 gr: Lundy to Greece in Greek
#58 Cardiff - Llanfairpwill
#63 it: Greenland to Italy in Italian
#50 Germany - various scenes
#66 Iceland
#71 po: Irelanld to Portugal in Portuguese
#73 Dublin - 3 City Views
#85 Lebanon - Roman Ruins
#109 Mexico - Palace of Fine Arts
#123 New Zealand - Auckland City View
#124 New Zealand - Lower Hutt lakes
#125 Nicaragua
#126 Oslo Fiords
#139 ar: St. Pierre & Miquelon to Lebanon in Arabic
#141 N: El Salvador - Bulneerio Chorr (nurse)
#146 Singapore Harbor
#152 Madrid - Cervantes Monument
#160 N: Sweden - Stadhas The City Hall (nurse)
#169 fr: Lower Manhattan to France in French
#170 ge: Juneau, Alaska to Germany in German
North Chicago Plant of Abbott Laboratories

Dr. Lai would be very interested in knowing as soon as possible if any of you have an example of these to borrow for reproduction. Postage will be reimbursed, and credit will be given to all who assist in the project. Time is now critical to make this work as complete as possible before it goes to press.

Contact him before making any mailing arrangements:
David Lai, M.D.
11809 50th Avenue Ct. NW
Gig Harbor, WA 98332

Phone: 253-858-3866 Email:

It is hoped that the publication can bring a greater awareness of these cards to the public as a whole, especially doctors who may have received them as well as postcard collectors.

The Dear Doctor Postcard Club and the web site will be prominently mentioned in the book as the primary resource for additional information. Members will also be among the first to know full particulars about the book's release.

Update 09/05/04

Latest word on the book is that it will be printed in November and released in early 2005. Details will follow!

Update 11/18/04

You can now order David Lai's book on!

Click the book to check out the details! List price is $24.95, Amazon's price is $16.47!