Postal Service (A-4)


Postal Service (A-4)


“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
-Inscription on the James Farley Post Office in New York City 
The United States Postal Service (also known as USPS, the Post Office or U.S. Mail) is responsible for providing postal service in the United States as one of the representative frontline agencies serving citizens from 1775.
An American History 1775 to 2006 was published by the United States Postal Service (USPS) to document its history as a universal mail system from its inception. The authors affirm that its system has strengthened the bonds of friendship, family, and community, encouraged civil discourse, disseminated information, and bolstered the national economy serving as the hub of vital industry and as a trusted courier for American businesses and businesses worldwide. Much of the development that took place in the US is attributable to the postal service, for “binding” the nation. Mail was first moved using steamboats, along the rivers and then by rail. More inland communities were later served by the Pony Express. There were also innovative ways of moving mail due to challenges faced in different terrains. Mail was transported into the mountains via horse-drawn sleds, early in the 20th Century.
Title 39 of the United States Code, enacted in 1960, outlines the function of the postal service. (See under Primary Documents). Chapters 10 and 12 of Part 2 of the Code outline the personnel and labor-management policies and establish a framework for a postal career service. Famous public servants, who began their careers in the postal service, include Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman. In 1833, at the age of 24, Lincoln was appointed postmaster of New Salem, Illinois and served in that capacity for three years. According to postal records, Harry Truman was appointed postmaster of Grandview, Missouri, on December 2, 1914. It is further stated that he turned the position over to a widow in need of money.

Barefoot Mailman

The barefoot mailmen of Florida worked as carriers on the first U.S. mail route from Palm Beach to Miami. It took them three days each way walking barefoot on the sand to complete their routes. Though the United States Post Office Department has maintained no record of the Barefoot Mailmen, a monument at Hillsborough Inlet and a New Deal era mural currently hanging in the West Palm Beach Post Office depict the mail carriers at work.

Collection Items

Federal Duck Stamp Program
Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps, commonly known as “Duck Stamps,” are pictorialstamps produced by the U.S. Postal Service for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Federal Duck Stamps are a vital tool for wetland conservation.…

First United States Postmaster Benjamin Franklin
Franklin was appointed postmaster of Philadelphia by the British Crown Post in 1737. Newspaper publishers often served as postmasters, which helped them to gather and distribute news. Postmasters decided which newspapers could travel free in the mail…

Congresswoman Cecil Murray Harden, Advocate of Women Post Office Workers
Cecil Harden had served as a congresswoman before Postmaster General Arthur E. Summerfield appointed her as Special Assistant for Women's Affairs. Even though some still didn’t like the idea of women mail carriers, Summerfield and Harden wanted to…

Postmaster John Wanamaker
When John Wanamaker was appointed to be the Post Master General in 1889, he implemented many changes that are still in use today. He started the use of commemorative stamps, and was so confident it would work that he personally bought $10,000 dollars…

Mail Pilot Charles Lindbergh, Famous American Aviator
Lindbergh, Charles Augustus (1902-1974), an American aviator, made the first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean on May 20-21, 1927. After Lindbergh completed his Army training, He was chosen to lay out and then serve as chief pilot for a…

Postmaster General James A. Farley
Postmaster General James Aloysius Farley among the hundreds of thousands of letters sent during National Air Mail Week, which celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first regularly scheduled airmail service.

James Farley became the Postmaster…

James Farley Post Office
The James A. Farley Post Office Building is the main post office building in New York City. Its ZIP code designation is 10001. Built in 1912, the building is famous for bearing the inscription: Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays…

First US Postage Stamp 1847
Benjamin Franklyn, one of the U.S. Founding Fathers, was the first Postmaster General under the Continental Congress. In 1775, Franklin served as a member of the Second Continental Congress, which appointed him Postmaster General on July 26 of that…

V-Mail During World War II
In both world wars, letter writing was a popular means of improving the morale of troops overseas. During the latter years of World War II, V-mail became a popular and inexpensive way of communicating with loved ones. V-mail letter forms could be…

Pony Express Route 1860-1861
Issued by the American Pioneer Trails Association in commemoration of the Pony Express Centennial, April 3, 1960 - October 24, 1961. This pictorial map shows route of Pony Express with names and location of relay stations.
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