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September 11, 2001
Collecting and Exhibiting a National Tragedy

Nancy A. Pope
National Postal Museum, Smithsonian Institution



Church Street Objects: Part 1

A general list of items to be selected was determined by curatorial discussion prior to the trip. Items were to be selected that represented the time and date of the attack, such as hand cancellation stamps of various markings. Additional items that represented the role of the Church Street Post Office in its community would be sought, with specific attention to be paid to sorting units. On October 4, 2001, National Postal Museum curatorial staff member Jeffrey Brodie, accompanied by U.S. postal inspectors, went to the Church Street station to identify and secure objects for the National Postal Museum collection. 

Among the items that were eventually brought into the National Postal Museum collection were: 

  • Mail cart with saddlebags marked
    Mail cart with saddlebags marked "6 WTC" and used to deliver mail at 6 World Trade Center Building.
  • Manual Distribution Cases
    (above and right) Manual Distribution Cases. A pair of cases used by letter carrier Emma Thornton for mail delivered to World Trade Center tower #1. The station lists some of the larger tenant groups, including "Windows on the World," and "Cantor Fitzgerald."
  • Sorting unit separated out for transport to National Postal Museum
    Sorting unit separated out for transport to National Postal Museum. Note the decontamination and wrapping work that has been done on other items in the area.

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