Love These

Parcel Post 1

In 1912, the U.S. Postal Department introduced parcel post service for items 16 ounces or more. Almost anything could be sent via parcel post, including baby chicks, alligators and honeybees. Rural Americans used the new service to buy goods they could not get before, giving rise to mail order giants like Sears, Roebuck & Co. Twelve denominations were issued, all using the same border and color, which caused some confusion for postal workers. Less than a year later, ordinary postage was allowed for use on parcel post. These stamps were then used as regular postage until the supply was depleted.

Parcel Post 2


1921 Bootleggers Vehicle

This is from 1921, in which a bootlegger’s cargo was disguised as a load of bricks. Probably a police photo, but wouldn’t it be fun if it was in a catalog from which bootleggers could select the ideal vehicle for their operation?

His Richest Aunt


Gleanings from How to Be a Motorist (1939) by K.R.G. Browne with illustrations by Heath Robinson:

“This handy, decorative, valuable, and uncostly volume, on which so much loving care and ink has been expended by the compilers, is dedicated in admiring sympathy (on the artist’s part) and sympathetic admiration (on the author’s) to that badgered but unconquerable little creature, the British Motorist, or fate’s football.”

“As one trudges along life’s highway, humming an old Andalusian air and in momentary peril of annihilation by mechanically propelled vehicles…”

“Like the mind of a Cabinet Minister — or a hen under the influence of vodka — the early motor-car moved in such mysterious ways that it was often hard to say if it were coming, going, or just oscillating slightly.”

“In very large and costly cars, such as those in which financiers and film stars visit their aged parents in the almshouse…”

“The urge to take his car abroad for a spell, thus Getting Away From It All, is one that attacks every motorist occasionally, usually after a heavy meal of cold boiled pork or on learning that his richest aunt has left her all to a Cats’ Home.”