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Mail By Rail

Creator:
National Postal Museum
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2009-06-02T21:24:54.000Z
Metadata Updated:
2014-02-22T16:51:31.000Z
Topic:
Postal service
Letter mail handling
Stamp collecting
YouTube Category:
Education
Views:
2948
Video Title:
Mail By Rail
Description:
Filmed in 1993, Mail By Rail is the story of the Railway Post Office clerks, as told by four ex RPO clerks, Tom Clifton, Harold Coffman, Winston Lark and Don Shenefelt. Read more at: http://npm.si.edu/exhibits/2c1_railwaymail.html
Video Duration:
250 seconds
See more by:
SmithsonianNPM
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianNPM
Data Source:
National Postal Museum
Visitor Tag(s):

Loading Mail Car

Creator:
National Postal Museum
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2010-10-14T16:55:57.000Z
Metadata Updated:
2013-12-14T20:17:37.000Z
Topic:
Postal service
Letter mail handling
Stamp collecting
YouTube Category:
Education
Views:
254
Video Title:
Loading Mail Car
Description:
Short silent 1903 film depicting a driver of postal screen wagon unloading mail into Railway Post Office train car. The original film is in the collection of the Library of Congress. Read more at: http://npm.si.edu/exhibits/2b1c2_screenwagon.html
Video Duration:
54 seconds
See more by:
SmithsonianNPM
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianNPM
Data Source:
National Postal Museum
Visitor Tag(s):

River of Mail

Creator:
National Postal Museum
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2011-11-02T17:53:26.000Z
Metadata Updated:
2013-09-12T20:08:29.000Z
Topic:
Postal service
Letter mail handling
Stamp collecting
YouTube Category:
Education
Views:
873
Video Title:
River of Mail
Description:
"River of Mail" is a nine-minute video produced by the Post Office Department in the late 1960s to teach the public about mail processing methods used during the 1960s and early 1970s.
Video Duration:
554 seconds
See more by:
SmithsonianNPM
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianNPM
Data Source:
National Postal Museum
Visitor Tag(s):

Missile Mail

Creator:
Smithsonian Channel
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2009-07-16T17:10:46.000Z
Metadata Updated:
2014-02-05T22:18:22.000Z
YouTube Category:
Shows
Views:
398
Video Title:
Missile Mail
Description:
Mail delivered by guided missile hinted at secret military capabilities.
Video Duration:
141 seconds
See more by:
smithsonianchannel
YouTube Channel:
smithsonianchannel
Data Source:
Smithsonian Channel
Visitor Tag(s):

Victory Mail

Creator:
National Postal Museum
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2009-06-02T21:44:23.000Z
Metadata Updated:
2014-01-31T03:03:49.000Z
Topic:
Postal service
Letter mail handling
Stamp collecting
YouTube Category:
Education
Views:
396
Video Title:
Victory Mail
Description:
A short, 1944 newsreel describing V-Mail produced by the Office of War Information. Read more at: http://npm.si.edu/victorymail
Video Duration:
138 seconds
See more by:
SmithsonianNPM
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianNPM
Data Source:
National Postal Museum
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Photograph of post card of mail car in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Medium:
paper; photo-emulsion
Type:
Photographs
Place:
United States of America
Wisconsin
Date:
1907
Credit line:
National Postal Museum, Curatorial Photographic Collection Photographer: Unknown
Object number:
A.2006-80
Description:
Car used to carry a postal clerk who sorts mail while the vehicle is moving. A pair of these automobiles, manufactured by the Johnson Service Company, were used for city delivery service in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Photographer: Unknown
See more items in:
National Postal Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Postal Museum
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Missile Mail container

Medium:
metal; paint (blue, red, white)
Dimensions:
Height x Width x Depth: 12 x 13 1/4 x 12 1/2 in. (30.48 x 33.66 x 31.75 cm)
Type:
Mail Processing Equipment
Place:
United States of America
Date:
June 8, 1959
Associated Event:
Regulus Missile Mail
Object number:
0.234863.9
Description:
On June 8, 1959, the U.S. Navy fired a Regulus I missile from the USS Barbero submarine and directed it to land at the Naval Auxiliary Air Station at Mayport, Florida, near Jacksonville. This container, along with a second container, was placed inside the missile prior to the flight. Together the two held 3,000 letters.
The metal containers were painted red and blue, the colors used at the time for mail boxes, and marked "US Mail." Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield posed for photographers as he helped place mail inside these containers. The missile was fired from the submarine shortly before noon and arrived at Mayport twenty-two minutes later.
Ostensibly an experiment in communication transportation, the Regulus’s mail flight sent a subtle signal that, in the midst of the Cold War, the U.S. military was capable of such accuracy in missile flight that it could be considered for use by the post office. The missile employed a then state-of-the-art guidance system that could precisely deliver a thermonuclear weapon from a distance of six hundred miles. The trip from the USS Barbero to Mayport was only one hundred miles in distance, but it helped to illustrate another possible use for the weapons technology. The space used for the containers was space that was originally designed to hold the missile’s nuclear warhead.
Postmaster General Summerfield was ecstatic over the possibilities of postal uses for the technology, claiming that “This peacetime employment of a guided missile for the important and practical purpose of carrying mail is the first known official use of missiles by any post office department of any nation. Before man reaches the moon, mail will be delivered within hours from New York to California, to Britain, to India or Australia by guided missiles.” Summerfield’s enthusiasm notwithstanding, the 1959 USS Barbero test firing was the only incidence of using a missile to carry mail in the United States.
Reference:
Press releases, Third Assistant Postmaster General files, NPM
See more items in:
National Postal Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Postal Museum
Visitor Tag(s):

Collecting Mail 1903

Creator:
National Postal Museum
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2009-06-03T16:22:09.000Z
Metadata Updated:
2011-12-13T23:06:32.000Z
Topic:
Postal service
Letter mail handling
Stamp collecting
YouTube Category:
Education
Views:
528
Video Title:
Collecting Mail 1903
Description:
Short film from 1903 showing a letter carrier gathering mail from a street corner package box and Scheble-style mailbox. The original film is in the collection of the Library of Congress.
Video Duration:
44 seconds
See more by:
SmithsonianNPM
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianNPM
Data Source:
National Postal Museum
Visitor Tag(s):

Pneumatic Mail Canister

Creator:
National Postal Museum
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2010-08-12T20:51:41.000Z
Metadata Updated:
2013-12-07T20:30:14.000Z
Topic:
Postal service
Letter mail handling
Stamp collecting
YouTube Category:
Education
Views:
2718
Video Title:
Pneumatic Mail Canister
Description:
Networks of pneumatic tubes speeded mail along under city streets beginning in the 1890s. Mail was enclosed in pneumatic tube canisters that could hold up to 600 letters. The canisters traveled at an average of 35 miles per hour. The first pneumatic tubes were introduced in 1893 in Philadelphia. Boston, Brooklyn, New York, Chicago and St. Louis also used the system. By 1915, these six cities had more than 56 miles of pneumatic tubes pulsing under the streets. Read more at: http://npm.si.edu/museum/1d_Pneumatic_Mail.html
Video Duration:
38 seconds
See more by:
SmithsonianNPM
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianNPM
Data Source:
National Postal Museum
Visitor Tag(s):

Fast Mail Train

Creator:
National Postal Museum
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2010-10-14T16:53:08.000Z
Metadata Updated:
2014-01-23T14:35:26.000Z
Topic:
Postal service
Letter mail handling
Stamp collecting
YouTube Category:
Education
Views:
439
Video Title:
Fast Mail Train
Description:
Short silent 1903 film depicting two Railway Post Office train cars placed between the engine and the passenger cars. This placement was for the safety of rail passengers. The original film is in the collection of the Library of Congress.
Video Duration:
29 seconds
See more by:
SmithsonianNPM
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianNPM
Data Source:
National Postal Museum
Visitor Tag(s):

Mail by Missile

Creator:
National Postal Museum
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2009-06-12T18:40:59.000Z
Metadata Updated:
2011-12-13T23:06:32.000Z
Topic:
Postal service
Letter mail handling
Stamp collecting
YouTube Category:
Education
Views:
464
Video Title:
Mail by Missile
Description:
Fifty years ago, the US Navy and Post Office Department placed 3,000 letters in a missile on board the USS Barbero submarine and aimed it at the Naval Auxiliary Air Station at Mayport, Florida. In this slideshow presentation, curator Nancy A. Pope reveals more about this Cold War era mail delivery experiment.
Video Duration:
724 seconds
See more by:
SmithsonianNPM
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianNPM
Data Source:
National Postal Museum
Visitor Tag(s):

Mail by Bus

Creator:
National Postal Museum
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2009-06-02T21:35:54.000Z
Metadata Updated:
2012-01-15T06:18:57.000Z
Topic:
Postal service
Letter mail handling
Stamp collecting
YouTube Category:
Education
Views:
611
Video Title:
Mail by Bus
Description:
Highway Post Office service was initiated in response to declining railroad traffic in the early 1940s. As the American population grew, use of the highway system grew as well, meaning fewer passengers traveled by rail. This, in turn, meant fewer trains available to carry mail in several parts of the country. The service grew very slowly at first, not really taking-off until the 1950s, when these brightly-colored buses became common sights on American highways. Read more at: http://npm.si.edu/exhibits/2c1e_hypobus.html
Video Duration:
162 seconds
See more by:
SmithsonianNPM
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianNPM
Data Source:
National Postal Museum
Visitor Tag(s):

Street Mail Car 1903

Creator:
National Postal Museum
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2009-06-03T16:23:49.000Z
Metadata Updated:
2011-12-13T23:06:32.000Z
Topic:
Postal service
Letter mail handling
Stamp collecting
YouTube Category:
Education
Views:
516
Video Title:
Street Mail Car 1903
Description:
Short 1903 film showing a horse-drawn mail wagon receiving mail from an attached trolley mail car. The original film is in the collection of the Library of Congress.
Video Duration:
74 seconds
See more by:
SmithsonianNPM
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianNPM
Data Source:
National Postal Museum
Visitor Tag(s):

Throwing Mail Into Bags

Creator:
National Postal Museum
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2011-11-02T20:20:10.000Z
Metadata Updated:
2013-11-21T10:33:26.000Z
Topic:
Postal service
Letter mail handling
Stamp collecting
YouTube Category:
Education
Views:
2401
Video Title:
Throwing Mail Into Bags
Description:
Postal workers sorted some mail by tossing it into bags. This short, 57-second, silent video was produced by the "American Mutoscope & Biograph Company" in 1903. Notice the stage backdrop painted to resemble the interior of a post office.
Video Duration:
70 seconds
See more by:
SmithsonianNPM
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianNPM
Data Source:
National Postal Museum
Visitor Tag(s):

You Have V-Mail

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2010-02-23T18:30:50.000Z
Metadata Updated:
2013-11-15T18:44:33.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education
Views:
444
Video Title:
You Have V-Mail
Description:
Victory Mail allowed servicemen during World War II to transmit letters to their loved ones back home quickly and easily (National Postal Museum). Read more at http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/aroundthemall/2008/12/before-email-there-was-v-mail/
Video Duration:
138 seconds
See more by:
SmithsonianMagazine
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianMagazine
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
Visitor Tag(s):

Rural Wagon Delivering Mail 1903

Creator:
National Postal Museum
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2009-06-03T16:29:16.000Z
Metadata Updated:
2013-04-30T16:11:58.000Z
Topic:
Postal service
Letter mail handling
Stamp collecting
YouTube Category:
Education
Views:
1195
Video Title:
Rural Wagon Delivering Mail 1903
Description:
A short silent film depicting a 1903 rural letter carrier delivering mail. The original film is in the collection of the Library of Congress.
Video Duration:
47 seconds
See more by:
SmithsonianNPM
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianNPM
Data Source:
National Postal Museum
Visitor Tag(s):

Wagons Loading Mail 1903

Creator:
National Postal Museum
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2009-06-03T16:26:25.000Z
Metadata Updated:
2011-12-13T23:06:32.000Z
Topic:
Postal service
Letter mail handling
Stamp collecting
YouTube Category:
Education
Views:
235
Video Title:
Wagons Loading Mail 1903
Description:
Short 1903 film of screen wagons being loaded with mail at a post office. The original film is in the collection of the Library of Congress. Read more at: http://npm.si.edu/exhibits/2b1c2_screenwagon.html
Video Duration:
53 seconds
See more by:
SmithsonianNPM
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianNPM
Data Source:
National Postal Museum
Visitor Tag(s):

Concord-style Mail Coach

Creator:
National Postal Museum
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2010-08-31T22:19:16.000Z
Metadata Updated:
2014-03-07T02:22:33.000Z
Topic:
Postal service
Letter mail handling
Stamp collecting
YouTube Category:
Education
Views:
607
Video Title:
Concord-style Mail Coach
Description:
Concord-style mail coaches remained in use in the United States well into the early 1900s. Elegantly painted in bright colors and decorated with oil paintings on the doors, the fancy wagons were also built to stand up to the demands of the nation's rough and rugged roads. Read more: http://npm.si.edu/museum/1d_Concord_Mail_Coach.html
Video Duration:
54 seconds
See more by:
SmithsonianNPM
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianNPM
Data Source:
National Postal Museum
Visitor Tag(s):

Regulus 1 missile mail container

Medium:
metal; paint (blue, red, white)
Dimensions:
Height x Width x Depth: 11 x 11 1/2 x 11 1/2 in. (27.94 x 29.21 x 29.21 cm)
Type:
Mail Processing Equipment
Place:
United States of America
Date:
June 8, 1959
Associated Event:
Regulus Missile Mail
Object number:
0.234863.8
Description:
On June 8, 1959, the U.S. Navy fired a Regulus I missile from the USS Barbero submarine and directed it to land at the Naval Auxiliary Air Station at Mayport, Florida, near Jacksonville. This container, along with a second container, was placed inside the missile prior to the flight. Together the two held 3,000 letters.
The metal containers were painted red and blue, the colors used at the time for mail boxes, and marked "US Mail." Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield posed for photographers as he helped place mail inside these containers. The missile was fired from the submarine shortly before noon and arrived at Mayport twenty-two minutes later.
Ostensibly an experiment in communication transportation, the Regulus’s mail flight sent a subtle signal that, in the midst of the Cold War, the U.S. military was capable of such accuracy in missile flight that it could be considered for use by the post office. The missile employed a then state-of-the-art guidance system that could precisely deliver a thermonuclear weapon from a distance of six hundred miles. The trip from the USS Barbero to Mayport was only one hundred miles in distance, but it helped to illustrate another possible use for the weapons technology. The space used for the containers was space that was originally designed to hold the missile’s nuclear warhead.
Postmaster General Summerfield was ecstatic over the possibilities of postal uses for the technology, claiming that “This peacetime employment of a guided missile for the important and practical purpose of carrying mail is the first known official use of missiles by any post office department of any nation. Before man reaches the moon, mail will be delivered within hours from New York to California, to Britain, to India or Australia by guided missiles.” Summerfield’s enthusiasm notwithstanding, the 1959 USS Barbero test firing was the only incidence of using a missile to carry mail in the United States.
Reference:
Press releases, Third Assistant Postmaster General files, NPM
See more items in:
National Postal Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Postal Museum
Visitor Tag(s):

Additional Online Media:

Sanitized mail

Medium:
paper; ink; plastic
Dimensions:
22.9 x 31.8 cm (9 x 12.5 in.)
Type:
Covers & Associated Letters
Place:
SINGAPORE (British commonwealth republic)
Date:
2002
Object number:
2002.2003.3
Description:
Brown burn spots and discoloration of this cover are the effects of the irradiation process implemented by the US Postal Service in October 2001. This irradiated cover is addressed to Ms. Esther Washington, from the Singapore Philatelic Society, and dated December 1, 2001. It is marked "MAIL SANITIZED."
There is correspondence inside the cover, but the cover has never been opened.
The practice of irradiating mail was initiated for all Washington, DC, Federal offices, following incidences of anthrax-contaminated mail being received by the US federal government, American Media Inc., and the National Broadcast Company (NBC). The anthrax attacks killed five people and made 17 others ill.
Mail addressed to the National Postal Museum is decontaminated at the irradiation facility run by Titan Industries in Lima, Ohio. Although the irradiation process is effective against eliminating biological threats, it has drawbacks. The process is expensive and slows delivery. Additionally, it can damage mail pieces, such as discoloring paper and burning film and photographs.
Reference:
Nakashima, Ellen. “Postal service may end irradiation” Washington Post. December 4 2001. p. A23.
Cole, Leonard A., Anthrax Letters, A Medical Detective Story. Washington DC: Joseph Henry press, 2001.
See more items in:
National Postal Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Postal Museum
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