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Current Exhibitions

June 27, 2014 - Indefinitely

Behind the Badge explores the mission and duty of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the law enforcement arm of the Postal Service. The exhibit examines the inspection service’s history and work through some of its most famous and remarkable cases. Visitors learn how the service helps protect them, sharing tips to guard against scams and fraud.

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September 23, 2013 - Permanent

William H. Gross, the founder of PIMCO and a stamp collector, has donated $10 million to the National Postal Museum to create a new 12,000-square-foot gallery that was named in his honor. The gallery opened on September 22, 2013.

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December 14, 2011 - Permanent

You drop a letter in a mailbox and then what happens? You receive mail at home or the office—how does it get there? The answer to these questions unfolds in Systems at Work, a permanent exhibition at the National Postal Museum. Systems at Work recreates the paths of letters, magazines, parcels, and other mail as they travel from sender to recipient over the last 200 years.

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November 10, 2011 - Permanent

Soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen anxiously awaiting mail delivery is a familiar scene from movies, newsreels, and documentary photographs. Mail call is the moment when the frontline and home front connect. This exhibition tells the history of military mail from the American Revolution to 2010: How does this mail reach its destination? What roles does it play? Why does it influence morale? The exhibition explores the great lengths taken to set up and operate postal services under extraordinary circumstances. It also features letters that reveal the expressions, emotions, and events of the time. On the battlefront and at home, mail provides a vital communication link between military service personnel, their communities, and their loved ones.

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February 22, 2006 - Permanent

In the 1920s and 1930s, funds from airmail contracts breathed life into the nation's fledgling commercial aviation industry.

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February 21, 2006 - Permanent

In 1845, postal officials tried a new approach to expand the nation’s mail service—Star Routes.

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December 23, 2004 - Permanent

Discover the history of the postal service's vehicular fleet, the largest in the world.

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July 30, 1993 - Permanent

This gallery provides an overview of mail service in America from colonial times through the 19th century, stressing the importance of written communication in the young nation.

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July 30, 1993 - Permanent

This gallery focuses on the modern changes in mail service introduced at the turn of the 20th century.

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July 30, 1993 - Permanent

The Railway Mail Service revolutionized the way mail was processed by sorting mail aboard moving trains. The National Postal Museum re-created a railway mail train in its Atrium. The interior fixtures is from a de-commissioned mail car. The exterior portion of the Railway Post Office train was created by Smithsonian artisans.

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July 30, 1993 - Permanent

Transportation is critical to good mail service. Among the National Postal Museum's artifacts are a number of different vehicles that have carried the mail.

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Current Exhibitions | National Postal Museum

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