National Postal Museum, Washington,D.C.

In our digital world, young people hardly know how vital the postal system has been. To me, it seems that it worked a lot better in the old days as it is described at the postal museum. In a tweet, the other day President Trump also values the postal system.

The museum is housed in the former City Post Office building situated close to Union Station on Massachusetts Avenue. It was the main City Postoffice from its start in 1914 to 1986. The architecture is Beaux-Arts Style like the Union Station. The two buildings are situated adjacent to each other.

Detail of 'New Post Office', National Postal Museum, Washington, D.C.

Detail of ‘New Post Office’, National Postal Museum, Washington, D.C.

Archway of Union Station, Washington, D.C.

Archway of Union Station, Washington, D.C.

As a part of the Smithsonian Institute, the museum is free and founded “to increase knowledge among men.” James Smithson (1765-1829) donated his fortune to Washington, D.C. I am grateful that he left us so many possibilities to visit free museums.

Unforgettable from the museum was the story of the small orphan dog Owney. As a young puppy in 1888, he somehow managed to fall asleep on a postal bag at Albany postal office in New York, and during his life, he travelled all over the United States and across the world on trains and boats following the mail. Many accidents happened on the trains, so this dog was a beloved mascot that helped the postal workers to feel safe.

Benjamin Franklin was the first postmaster general. Franklin (1706-1790) and put in place the foundation for many aspects of today’s mail system. For more history on this subject.

 

Not being able to travel now, it’s good to have access to photos of places of interest from another year. In this case from July 2018.

 

11 Comments »

  1. What a fun insight. In my young travelling days, I depended on the “Poste Restante” in major cities to catch up with mail that had been chasing me around Europe. And, just recently, cleaning out old photographs, I came across the one of an “oh-so-cute” cottage in Ferritslev, Fyn, where the owner was also the local postmistress. How well we got to know people we had never met, through the practice of pen-pals. Emails and Facebook cannot replace the purpose and value of a well-written letter ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think with today’s situation, some will start to appreciate the postal system once again. When it comes to delivering supplies, holding their food drive and all in swift response time, they are only beat (sometimes) by UPS and FedEx delivery services. They have all stepped up during this time.

    Liked by 1 person

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