Photo credit: postalmuseum.si.edu
We have seen people sent through the mail for political reasons and to escape a horrific life, but there have been more prosaic reasons to send human letters. The Parcel Post Service revolutionized package delivery when it began in the US in 1913. Prior to this, people had to carry their packages to large towns to send.
Now every post office would deal with your parcel as long as it weighed less than 5 kilograms (11 lb). That same year, Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Beauge in Ohio posted their 5-kilogram (10 lb) baby to his grandmother’s house at a cost of 15 cents. They even insured the kid for $50.
When this weight limit was changed to 23 kilograms (50 lb), two parents had a cunning idea. May Pierstorff’s parents wanted to send her to visit her grandmother but thought the cost of a train ticket was far too high. They attached the correct number of stamps to May’s coat, and the 22-kilogram (48.5 lb), five-year-old child was shipped in the mail carriage of a train to her grandmother.
In 1914, the postmaster general put a stop to using the postal service to send people.
I think that none of us today would even consider sending our child in the mail. I figure instead we would at least use UPS or FedEx.
Coffee out on the slightly chilly patio this morning!