I’ve been deep into the interwebs today. Who knew that googling “weird facts about mail” would lead one down such an expansive rabbit hole of history and oddities! With the kick off of International Correspondence Writing Month this Saturday, I thought it would be fun to see what could be found in the peculiarities of mail…
1. Have you ever heard of Charlotte May Pierstorff? On February 19, 1914 her parents shipped her via postal service! She traveled from Grangeville, Idaho to Lewiston, Idaho to visit her Grandmother. The young girl was transported by train at the bargain rate of only 53 cents. The United States postal service then passed new regulations prohibiting the shipping of humans.
2. In Belgium 1870, a special project was devised to train a new kind of mail carrier… cats! Out of the 37 cats selected and trained, only one managed to deliver their message!
3. Located in Kansas City, Missouri is the SubTropolis. It’s about 160 feet below the city, spans nearly 6 million square feet, and is the underground home to an immense vault system. The US postal service uses the low-humidity space to protect their rarest stamps!
4. We know that “troll” today means online bullying, but in the early 20th century it was a popular trend in the post as well! In both America and England, cards featuring stylized caricatures of men and woman were often sent via post as ‘vinegar’ valentines. Here’s an example of the type of message they’d feature:
Hey, Lover Boy, the place for you
Is home upon the shelf
‘Cause the only one who’d kiss you
Is a jackass like yourself!
5. The Hope Diamond is incredibly famous – and incredibly valuable. Today its value sits at about $350 million. In 1958 it was shipped via post service to the home it still has today, the Smithsonian. The cost of postage? $2.44.
6. There are lot of surprising things that can be shipped through the postal service, sans packaging! Ever seen the mailed potato meme? It’s true! You can not only mail spuds, but also coconuts! There’s even a specialty post office in Hawaii called “Post-A-Nut” that mails coconuts for tourists. It’s about $20 altogether and you even get to decorate it yourself!
These are just a few of the many, many things to be found in the history and facts about postal services. If you know of any more to add, comment them below!
I hope these gave you some chuckles as we count down the last few days before the kickoff of InCoWriMo!
Your Friends at the Henlo Press