Technologies may have changed in four decades, but a newly discovered ID card from 45 years ago may answer a long held mystery surrounding the crash of an aircraft in the Indian Air Force.
A group of trekkers discovered the identification card of Arjun Singh, a pilot who disappeared after his plane supposedly crashed in the mountain of Lahaul Valley in India. The plane in question took off in 1968 on a supposedly routine flight with over one hundred people on board. There were supposedly no survivors, as a result of bad weather that could not be reckoned with. The discovery of the card is particularly helpful because, according to Balbir Thakur, the magistrate who received Singh’s card from the trekkers, the wreckage of the plane can’t possibly be too far behind it.
“There are chances,” he said, “that aircraft’s major portion could be located… where the debris was spotted.” This could be the final punctuation point on a case that has remained open ended for nearly half a century. While the tragedy still leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of those who remember it, there is much to learn from it.
It goes without saying that identification has evolved greatly in recent history, and a news story such as this one provides a great opportunity to look at how cards used to be made, analyze them, and learn from any mistakes. While the 45-year-old card has managed to stay relatively in tact, it is frayed in ways that are unheard of by today’s ID card standards. However, it does speak volumes about the potential durability of new ID cards, if even one that is 45 years old can withstand the hazards of a mountain range. Imagine the potential that is right at your fingertips, waiting to be printed!
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Printing ID card at home is easier than ever! All that is required is and Inkjet or Laser printer, some silica-based synthetic paper such as Teslin or Artisyn, butterfly pouches and a ID card laminator.
The first step is to choose the most appropriate type of synthetic paper. Artisyn is likely to produce a higher resolution print than Teslin and may be used with any type of printer. Teslin on the other hand comes in two different grades depending on your printer type: Inkjet and Laser. Artisyn and Teslin both come in full sheets. Once printed, the ID cards will have to be individually cut with scissors or an X-Acto knife. To simplify the ID cutting process and to lead to a higher ID card finish we recommend using 8-up micro-perforated sheets and 1-up micro-perforated sheets of Artisyn and Teslin synthetic paper. UV inks are a great way to ensure that your ID is temper-proof. The UV ink will not appear under a normal light and will only be seen with a UV light.
Next comes the butterfly pouch selection process. A choice has to be made between matte or glossy finishing, whether to have a magnetic stripe or not and the thickness of pouch. A 10mil pouch will create a 30mil ID which is the industry standard. To make a thinner 24mil ID which will take less space in your wallet the 7mil pouches may be used.
Thirdly, heat the laminator to 250°F. Please check your laminator’s owner manual to see if it requires the use of a carrier. If it does, place the cut-out synthetic paper printout inside the butterfly pouch and into the carrier. If your laminator does not require a carrier simply place the cut-out synthetic paper printout inside the butterfly pouch and insert it into the laminator.
During the lamination process, the silica from the Artisyn or Teslin forms a permanent bond with the butterfly pouch. The ID card is now temper, weather and water proof. To add additional security to your ID card we recommend adding a holographic overlay ID. Different types of holograms exist with multi-spectrum images that can be seen when tilting the ID in different directions.
Once the ID card is laminated take a piece of 400grit superfine sandpaper and smooth the edges out. This leaves you with a perfect professional looking ID card. This ID will have the same look and feel as an average card.