Friday, October 30, 2009

Rural Mail Service

Today's picture shows a rural mail delivery service. The picture was taken in 1914. I have said it before, I will say it again. There is something very appealing about the slower pace of the early last century. Also, I noticed that most of the people that had something nice to say about the post office this week were from rural areas. I agree . . . we live in a rural area, and the postman lady is very nice and goes out of her way to be helpful.

20 comments:

  1. Great photo. I like the personal way the mailman is handing the package to the recipient, although I suppose it's possible that this photo was posed.

    But . . . notice how nicely everyone is dressed even though it's a rural area - look a the girl in the background.

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  2. PJM,

    I live in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

    At night, as you sit on the deck, in the distance you can hear the clip-clop-clip of Amish buggies in the distance.

    I always pause with my two young sons and say, "Remember that. You're lucky enough to live in one of the few places in America where you can still hear that sound every day of your lives."

    I don't need to go back to 1914. We get to live in 1854!

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  3. Jon:

    We've visited Lancaster, my husband has a lot of clients in that area and he goes there often.

    It's great - and we've eaten at that Amish restaurant, "Good and Plenty," where you sit at those long tables.

    The food is unbelievable. Do you have any other recommendations?

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  4. I have been "behind the times" this week, and have just now caught up with this week's photos. Very interesting photos, as usual. Thanks, again, PJM.

    I have really enjoyed reading all the comments, too.

    I used to live in Las Vegas and my cousin was a mailman. Turned out he was delivering more than mail on his routes -- he was also selling drugs. They didn't fire him until he was caught the SECOND time.

    I had to go to the post office frequently in those days and the deliberate "lack of courtesy" always made me dread the next trip to the post office.

    Then I found the post office on Decatur Blvd. What a joy to go there, everyone including the customers were smiling. I said something about it to one of the guys behind the counter and he said, "That is why I transferred here."

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  5. I have a friend that works for the Board of Health in Ohio. There is alot of Amish in her area. She has told me NEVER eat at an Amish anything.

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  6. I visited the Postal Museum in Washington last week and learned that, at the time this photo was taken, mailmen had to provide their own horses and buggies and pay for the upkeep out of their own pockets. I don't imagine that formula made for big incomes.

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  7. Hi PJM, Recently I started a blog called Forgotten Old Photos..just some old photos abandoned at a couple of Antique Shops. I happened along your blog while searching for old photos of Soldiers..to compare uniforms. It has been a fun project..I enjoyed looking around here..you are doing an absolutely wonderful job here. If it is Ok with you I will link to your blog from mine! http://forgottenoldphotos.blogspot.com/

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  8. I'm from a small town where we had to go to the post office to get our mail. The great thing about this, is that the postman has been known to call people when an important package, for which he knows they've been waiting, finally comes in. I've actually had that happen, and it's really nice to live at that "pace."

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  9. A lot of rural postman already had a horse or pony and buggy because they lived in the country themselves. They sought the job, so it must have had advantages. (In the stories and novels written a long time ago, the mail man is always glad to have the job. And losing the mail route was often a misfortune.) Our rural carriers provided their own vehicles until the late-80's. One carrier purchased an used right hand drive mail vehicle from the P.O. then used it for deliveries and as his personal car. It just got more and more rusty but was very reliable.

    One thing I notice about 'town' people is they can't believe I don't have problems with rural delivery. A book I ordered last week arrived very fast via media mail and the mailman strapped it to the box with some rubberbands. It sat there for 8 hours and nobody stole it.
    I am happy with the service I get at the local PO, unless I'm helped by the one idiot clerk. I also buy stamps online. Very efficient, especially if you like to use commemorative stamps.

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  10. I sometimes wonder what would happen if we have the great solar flares that take down the electrical grid nationwide for a year or two. How will we respond to the absence of technology? Will people revert back to the slower pace of doing things eventually? We would be forced to use the postal system since phones and email would be useless. Once the riots for food and protection are over, will we look upon our neighbors with new eyes? I sure have too much time on my hands if I'm thinking about this, huh? :-)

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  11. Norkio:

    Good point.

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  12. Anon:

    Well, I ate at a lot of Amish places in Pennsylvania and never got sick. They're healthier than we are.

    And, I've never gotten sick in Mexico, either.

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  13. When I was a youngster in the 1970s, I was walking home from school one day, my bag full of books, so heavy it was dragging on the ground. (I don't know why I was carrying so many.) So the postman drove up to me in his mini-jeep (the ones where you drive on the right side), and gave me a ride home. He said he couldn't stand to see me dragging all those books. Of course nowadays you can't do that, but I still remember how cool it felt to take a ride in a mail truck.

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  14. My GGrandfather used to deliver mail with a horse and buggy. Later my Grandfather took the over the route using a model T Ford. It was a rural route about 20 miles of dirt and gravel roads.
    I sure wish I could locate some of the old pictures.

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  15. Some of the postal patrons would make it a point to meet the postman to pick up on the latest town news, births, deaths,scandals, etc.
    Most of the rural people only went to town every few weeks.
    They were always hungry for the latest news.

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  16. A carrier also could read everyone's postcards and periodicals. I know my mailman did, because he'd ask me how my friend liked her vacation, or if I tried that recipe. A couple times it seemed he'd taken magazines or catalogs home to read - they had a coffee ring or dogeared pages or fingerprints on them - he wasn't even careful! Once he handed some mail to my mother and said a magazine article was really good - he'd read it on his lunch break, and there were crumbs inside the magazine.

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  17. The horses got so they knew the routes as well as the postman and would automatically stop at each mailbox. My father-in-law delivered milk with a horse and wagon in St. Louis right after WW II and was mad as hops when they took his horse away and made him use a truck. Said it took twice as long.

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  18. Our Post Office is a little one, but it is kept open by the amount of stamps she sells. That is why we use nothing but stamps from her post office, and all our friends buy them there too. There are only 55 people in our town, a railroad, and a barge unloading facility, and 4 or 5 other small business places in an industrial park

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  19. great photo.....i grew up in a coal mining village in pennsylvania. there were about 57 houses, 1 road and little else. one end of the town was sleigh dumps and the other was tracks that went nowhere. one side was a mountain and the other was the river. when i moved there with my mother in the 80s everyone in the village had outhouses and party lines. one of the great things about the town was the "post office". it was in the living room of miss mary. she had converted the front room and separated it from the rest of the house. i miss those days.

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