“Mommy, do they still make tree trunks like this?”
Overheard last week in the National Parks exhibit of the Post Office Museum in Washington, D.C.
It was hard not to laugh, but the little girl who asked this question was so sincere and, apparently had never seen a tree of the size that would yield such a slab of wood. Her mother apologized to me, because she decided to pause and give a little lesson and make a little promise. I was fine waiting for my chance to take a photo.
The mother explained how trees grow, how they “get hurt” and how and why they are cut down. She promised to take her daughter to a forest and show her large trees that are, in fact, still being made, just like this one.
The Post Office Museum is one of the Smithsonian museums and is across the street from Washington, D.C.’s Union Station. I’ve walked past many times. I had a little free time last Friday afternoon, so I decided to take a tour. My father worked for the Post Office for many years. I worked for the Post Office during three summer vacations, four Christmas breaks and a couple of Spring Breaks. So, the family connection is strong.
Although the exhibit mentioned the 1940s, I worked with a very similar machine in the early 70s. This is what “canceled” (put the wavy ink lines over the stamps) envelopes.
This was hanging on a tree in the exhibit of the early Postal System. Good to know I could have gotten the mail.
Mr Zip, or Zippy as he was known. I’m sure my brother will recognize this, as it was also part of numerous scroll-saw projects in the mid-60s
Although these are set up in a rail car, I worked next to a rack of pouches just like these. Sorted mail was wrapped in a gum band (rubber band) and tossed into the pouch for the Zip code or group of Zip codes,
The museum has three examples of early airmail carrying planes.
I remember my father having to learn about Zip Codes when they were introduced in the early 60s. I think this was from the late 60s when they were still tying to get us to adopt the code, maybe by appealing to the psychedelic art of the times.
Sorting mail into these cubby holes was referred to as ‘throwing’ and the guys who were good at it were very fast. When the holes were full, the contents were bundled and tossed into a pouch
Printing press plates for Alfred Hitchcock stamps
I wish my mistakes were this valuable.
Carrier of news and knowledge. Instrument of trade and industry. Promoter of mutual acquaintance, of peace and of goodwill among men and nations.
This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday series.