RFD: The Second Century

In 1996, the National Postal Museum produced this video that celebrated the Rural Free Delivery centennial and looks at how the service works in this day and age.

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The most important characteristic for a

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rural carrier would be honesty. I think

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they should be polite. I think they

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should be caring you have to have

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patience and I think you have to be able

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to work independently because we're

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pretty much on our own out there and you

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gotta figure out what to do

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a century has passed since the

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beginnings of rural free delivery but

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some things haven't changed rural

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carriers are still different from city

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ones they don't wear a uniform and most

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of them own and operate their own

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vehicles in all kinds of weather they

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serve the back roads of post office on

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weaves my name is tiala brittingham I'm

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your walk a rural carrier can provide

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just about any service a post office can

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whenever you want stats use this out

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door-to-door keola brittingham has been

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a rural carrier near Ocean City Maryland

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for 15 years but I didn't feel again

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yeah I'm waiting for my tomatoes oh it's

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his family and I like it like that

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because if it's anything else wrong out

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here if somebody does not pick their

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mail up and I noticed that that males in

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that box a couple days I call and make

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sure that that person is okay Carroll

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County Maryland was the first County in

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the u.s. to get complete rural free

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delivery in 1896 in 23 years here as a

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rural carrier bill Francis has seen a

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lot of change it was a lot of farmers

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and you help people catch horses or you

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know chase a cow or something so a lot

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of the farms in our houses so you see

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more people but not back on a farm or

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you wave at them on a tractor now

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they're mowing her lawn Virginia frames

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route in northern Carroll County now

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includes 550 homes but she still has

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five dirt roads along her 50 mile route

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this past winter at one time we had 36

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inches of snow

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basically we were the only people that

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were allowed on the road I know it's

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hard you today you need any stamps no

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not today Peggy Ludwig is only the third

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carrier to serve her hundred year old

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route in Carroll County in her 20 years

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of service her customers have helped her

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build a remarkable collection of postal

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memorabilia some of the older people

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they remember both of the carriers

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before me and they can they can talk

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about the first one when he drove the

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wagon with the horses women a lot to the

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people they mean a lot to us

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we care I think carriers pretty much one

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hundred percent care I know that I'm

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helping somebody and it's not just the

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job