Category Postal History

Devoted to Philately

Having passed my childhood in Kenmore, N.Y., and loving everything about mail and the post office, I was surprised when this postcard turned up, advertising the Kenmore Stamp Company in “the world’s most beautiful building devoted to Philately.” How did I miss that? As it turns out, I have an excuse: The company’s founder, Ernest […]

Places I’ve Been

Sorting through a gift of 700 postcards, I was delighted to find places I’d been. The Brock Monument in Canada. While my brother and cousins played in the park, my mother tied me to a tree, with about ten feet of slack, so I wouldn’t get lost. And then, before the picnic lunch, she washed […]

Strong Leaders

Since June 2020, the Trump-appointed Postmaster General has made strenuous efforts to undermine the USPS and slow deliveries. This will 1) make the USPS more vulnerable to privatization, 2) strike a blow at Amazon.com and its owner Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, 3) erode confidence in voting-by-mail, reducing the voter turnout, and […]

Postcards from Abbie

Postcards sent by my grandmother, Abbie Slocum Winship, to her brother, Homer Slocum, and his wife, in Niagara Falls, N.Y. On the back of this one, mailed in October of 1909, Abbie wrote, “Papa got the jars yesterday. Thank you very much for what it contained but we are puzzled to know what that fruit […]

Delivery

At times, I am amazed at the dedication and focus of postal workers. I had read that as the Titanic sank, Oscar Scott Woody, the liner’s Chief Postal Clerk, along with clerks John March, William Gwinn, James Williamson and John Smith, tried unto the last to save the mail, rather than themselves. Mi. #909-910, Sc. #B292-293 But only […]

Anthony Trollope

I am reading Masters of the Post: The Authorized History of the Royal Mail, a thumping big tome by Duncan Campbell-Smith, and I came across a passage that reminded me of a particular Waterloo of mine. The author noted that Anthony Trollope, who worked for the General Post Office before gaining fame as a novelist, […]

The Blind Reader

I think it’s safe to say that Della Donner and Patti Collins met but once, in December of 1913. Although both lived in Washington D.C., they moved in different circles. Della Newsom Donner “liked to go about a great deal.” Her former husband, William H. Donner, was “a home-loving man” who made $4,000,000 when U.S. […]

Making a Postcard, 1888

In November of 1888, Scientific American published an article on “The Making of Postal Cards” which follows, but I thought it needed a brief introduction on how postcards themselves came about. In 1870, citing the success of postal cards in Europe, U.S. Postmaster General John A. J. Creswell recommended to Congress the issuance of a […]