A TTM is known in the world of autograph collecting as a “Through the Mail” autograph. Sometimes it is not possible to get an autograph in-person and as a result, I will write a letter to someone hoping that I can obtain their signature through the United States Postal Service. Of course you have to assume that the celebrity you are writing to actually signs through the mail and does not use an autopen, or employ someone to do their signing for them. In addition to sending the item that you wish to have signed, it is common courtesy to also include a self-addressed and stamped envelope with your request so the celebrity can return your item (at no cost to them). Addresses can be found on the internet, or by using a purchased address list. I subscribe to an on-line address service which provides addresses and statistics about the signing habits of the person I am writing to. It works well for me.
In October of 2012, I wrote Tony award winner Carol Channing a letter in the hopes of receiving an autograph. Even though it took 10 months, I had a surprise in my post office box last week.
Channing signed an 8×10 black and white print that I sent her. The print was returned in my envelope and it arrived in perfect condition. Channing who is a singer, actress, and comedienne celebrated her 92nd birthday in January. She rarely makes public appearances these days, so a through the mail signature is the best I could hope for. Thanks Carol. I appreciate the return of my item and of course your signature! A great addition to my collection.