Machines or Bust: Post Office Department Research and Development, 1945-1970 By Kevin Danchisko
Photo Credit: Patrick S. McCabe, U.S. Postal Service
At the end of the Second World War, the U.S. Post Office Department was faced with an enormous challenge. Through the Great Depression and the war, the Department had little funding available for upgrading equipment or organizational systems. After 1945, the nation began an extended period of population and economic growth. The Department's aging and decrepit equipment was challenged by the unprecedented growth in mail volume that accompanied this new prosperity. The nation needed a postal system that could meet its surging need. To answer that challenge the Department had to integrate new machines and systems into an organization that was second only to the military in scope and numbers. It would not be easy.