Featuring Research Volunteer Contributions


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Post office structure from Dillsburg, Pennsylvania

Post offices are the physical manifestation of the links among individuals, organizations, businesses, and governments. They are the magic places wherein the secrets of mail processing are kept from prying eyes, the buildings from which carriers emerge six days a week, bringing mail to our homes and offices.

Whether located in tall, distinguished buildings in the middle of town or nestled away in a small, rural country stores, post offices bind citizens to each other and to their government. They are the place we have gone for our tax forms, registered for the draft, cataloged livestock reports, and even banked. They have been unofficial community centers and a reflection of the community’s growth or demise. For many rural Americans, sending a letter or picking up the day's mail remains a cherished opportunity to chat and catch up on local news, take a break, or even play a game of checkers.

Nancy A. Pope, National Postal Museum

painting of a mail carrier walking through a mountainous landscape

On post office walls throughout the United States, painted scenes reflect America's...

Counter-top post office unit

Furnishings put the 'office' in post offices. Many commonplace objects that are...

Washington City Old Post Office architectural model

In the late eighteenth century, postmasters received, sorted, and distributed mail from taverns...

Patriotic post office road sign

Signs give directions, advertise services, and list rates and regulations. But...