The Smithsonian National Postal Museum, located near the U.S. Capitol, is devoted to presenting the colorful history of the nation’s mail service. Mail transported our national culture, promoted capitalism, migration, community and identity formation.
It provided a communication link that encouraged the formation of like citizenry long before the birth of the Internet. These images provide a peek into this intriguing history. To learn more, visit the Postal Museum Website.
This is an image of the Louisville and Evansville mail packet boat, "Morning Star" on the Ohio River. (circa 1858)
Employees driving a regulation mail wagon, size 3, on an unidentified San Francisco, California, street. The wagons were painted blue, with red and white features. The wagon was owned and operated by private companies that contracted with the Post Office Department for their use to carry sacks of mail between railroad depots and post offices. (circa 1895)
City letter carrier is shown retrieving mail from a city collection box. The driver of the Columbian Mark 3 Touring Car mail vehicle was not a Post Office Department employee, but was hired to drive carriers between collection boxes and post offices. (circa 1906)
A group of Parcel Post Service wagons and the carriers assigned to each wagon pose with their postmaster. Neither the postmaster nor the city is identified in the photograph. (circa 1913)
A pair of Curtiss Jenny (JN-4H) airplanes are shown on the polo grounds at Potomac Park in Washington, DC. This location was used for the first few months of the nation's first regularly scheduled airmail service. (circa 1918)
TO BE CONTINUED...