The Mail PieceChanging Media, Consistent Content
- •The Early Years: 1775-1865
- •Expanded Service: 1898-1920s
- •Delivering More: 1941-1970s
- •Modern Mail: 1980s-2010
Technological innovations have transformed the way personal messages and official mail have been sent. Mail options expanded in the 1940s to include recorded messages and microfilmed letters. Today, computer technology allows electronic communication to be combined with traditional letters and packages in new ways.
The volume, size, and weight of mail has typically increased during wartime. Developing new procedures, trying different routes, and using diverse means of transportation are all ways that the postal system has continued to expand its capacity to meet the needs of military personnel and their communities.
Military Personnel Phonograph Messages
Message recorded by Ralph Miller, Pharmacist's Mate, U.S. Navy, at a USO event in Los Angeles, CA on July 21, 1944.
|Listen to side one (1.6 MB):||Transcript:|
|Listen to side two (1.5 MB):||Transcript:|
Phonograph album that Warren E. Gerstenkorn, Private, U.S. Army, recorded at training camp at Fort Belvoir, VA in 1943.
|Listen (1.4 MB):||Transcript:|
Almost Like You Never Left
A reasonably reliable mail service allows service personnel to stay connected with those at home. Even in 1835, Navy surgeon David Shelton Edwards was able to manage his New York household despite being stationed far from home at the Pensacola Navy Yard in Florida. Through frequent correspondence with his wife, Edwards remained involved with his family and sent orders regarding the running of the house.
“My heart tells me I shall get a letter from you this evening unless the late heavy rains have so overflowed the country in Georgia as to stop the mail.”
—Surgeon David Shelton Edwards to his wife, June 22, 1835