Aeropostale

poste 1

Illustrations by Georges Hamel for “La Poste Francaise par la Voie des Airs” in the “L’aeronautique” issue of L’Illustration, November 14, 1936.

poste 2

poste 3

poste 4

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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

Rude

PM General

On July 11, 1864, Confederate General Jubal Early took over “Silver Spring,” the Maryland home of U.S. Postmaster General Montgomery Blair, as headquarters for his army, a force bent on invading Washington in the third and last such attempt of the Civil War. General Early smoked Blair’s cigars, drank his wine and the next day, before retreating, burnt down his house.

Letter Drop

PO Box ChicagoThe lobby mailbox in the LaSalle Bank Building (1934), today the Bank of America Building, in Chicago, IL. The mailbox, which also receives all the mail deposited from the floors above, is a model of the building; the lights in the windows indicate the location of the elevators. From Art Deco Mailboxes (2015) by Karen Greene and Lynne Lavelle, a magnificent history and design collection.