The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum announced that it received $300,000 from Alan Ritchey Inc. to fund a new exhibition on the Star Route Service. Star Routes, which began in 1845, are postal service contract routes that increase the postal service’s efficiency while decreasing costs.
Star Routes got their name because postal clerks, weary of writing “Certainty, Celerity and Security” over and over again in the contract books, began using “* * *” instead. Star Routes have been covered by all kinds of transportation modes from stagecoaches, trucks and planes to less conventional means, such as dogsleds, snowshoes and bare feet.
“We appreciate Alan Ritchey Inc. for sponsoring this exhibit, through which the National Postal Museum can continue telling the story of how mail is moved,” said museum director Allen Kane. “The transportation of mail played a key role in our nation’s development. This gift enables the museum to take a very 21st century approach to presenting a vital piece of American history.”
Alan Ritchey Inc. began in 1963 and has its roots in mail transportation and agriculture. Today, ARI is comprised of three diversified divisions: Transportation, Mail Transportation Equipment Service Center and Martindale Feed Mill.
The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing the largest and most comprehensive collection of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., in the Old City Post Office Building across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information visit the museum’s Web site at postalmuseum.si.edu.
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