Archive for Friday, January 14, 2011

100 years ago: Lawrence mail carriers make multiple deliveries each day

January 14, 2011


From the Lawrence Daily World for Jan. 14, 1911:

  • “The ‘Mail Man,’ as people call him, is known in the Post Office as a City Carrier as distinguished from a Rural Carrier. He works 49 hours a week, doing the light days’ work as quickly as possible and using the time saved in completing his routes on heavy days. On the business street they make four deliveries and six collections a day. In the residence portions, two deliveries and two collections a day. Two of the carriers are mounted, being the most efficient way of delivering scattered territory. Foot carriers service is now only established where there are good walks and the houses are properly numbered and boxes placed where easily reached.”
  • “The collegiate basket ball season will open in Lawrence tonight when the Baker and Jayhawker fives tangle on the floor of Robinson Gym. ‘We expect to win,’ said Coach Hamilton this afternoon, ‘but I fear Baker will drive the Kansans to their limit.’”
  • “The sleet this morning was as good as a bequest from a rich uncle to Lawrence blacksmiths. The horse shoers were busily occupied all morning sharpening shoes and replacing worn ones. On Winthrop this morning two grocery wagons were marooned at the bottom of the steep ascent to Massachusetts. The horses had managed to skid down the hill all right, but their shoes were worn too smooth to make the ascent on the icy pavement. Their drivers finally had to make a wide detour and approach Massachusetts on a gentler incline.”


statesman 7 years, 3 months ago

Wow!!! In business areas, four deliveries and six collections daily and for residential customers, TWO deliveries and collections daily! How times have changed! I can't imagine there was near as much mail 100 years ago either, especially junk mail. Now we're going to lose our Saturday deliveries, and Sunday/Holiday collections disappeared several years ago. So what did postage cost 100 years ago for all that good service? Maybe a one cent stamp?

Sarah St. John 7 years, 3 months ago

Hi statesman! According to one source I was able to find, the domestic letter rate in 1911 was two cents per oz (one cent for a postcard).

I remember reading about multiple deliveries per day (in old novels or plays) and I used to wish we still had that! Of course, that was back when I still wrote a lot of (paper) letters.

One more fun fact for you -- this year in OHT history (1911) will mark the first-ever airmail letter -- that is, by airplane -- on February 17. Airmail existed before then, but it was by hot-air balloon!

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