Down in the deep south, in the state of Georgia, is a postal worker stuffing mailboxes with digital marketing mailers. Atlanta and communities all around the world circulate postage with a mix of personal messages, packages, and promotional materials shared by businesses. Flyers, coupon books, and more find their way through the addresses of a mailing list service in Atlanta. These sorts of postal pieces are made by direct mail services in Atlanta. They take many forms, including die-cut postcards. Atlanta mailboxes regularly receive these items.
Promotional post items come in many shapes and a few sizes, and sometimes they are also called digital marketing mailers. Atlanta has these, too. There are many things that this city in Georgia has, and only some of them get sent through the post. A possum not in a cage has most likely never been sent through the post. That would be quite a trick, getting that sharp-toothed little animal into one of those tiny boxes. Then there’s the matter of getting it out. Oh, what a surprise it would be to open the box and see those teeth and those beady little eyes. It would, most likely, be a very angry possum. It makes sense. Wouldn’t you be angry if stuffed into a post box?
One could imagine that any living thing with a mind to think would be upset at the prospect of being sent through the post Then again, there have been people who have sent themselves through the post. In fact, this was at one time an accepted practice. There was a time in the past when people could send a child legally, and the child would be delivered and cared for. Can’t imagine this happening? Well, you may be quite surprised to hear that it did.
In the early years of the U.S. postal system, 1913, there were no rules on exactly what one could or could not send in the post, to be more specific. This was when the new parcel delivery was introduced. The Beague family is noted in the history books as being the first to send an infant. It cost 15 cents in stamps, and he was delivered safely to his grandmother. In those days, parcels were delivered by a postman in person without any waiting around in big warehouses. This postman picked up the child, traveled the mile to the family’s grandma’s house, and dropped off the parcel.
There were other strange things sent through the postal system as parcels, like reptiles and whatnot. In all, a historian discovered about seven different times that a child was sent between the years of 1913 and 1915. It was officially banned in 1914, but that didn’t stop people from doing it. This was a time, you must remember, when people knew their postman in rural areas, and in some cases, it was a relative doing the delivery. They were usually fairly short journeys. But that wasn’t always the case.
One child was sent 720 miles. Really. And it cost only 15 cents in stamps. The child was six at the time. In those days, although not normal, it wasn’t seen as being especially bad. It was likely frowned on by many people, but the parents weren’t charged with any fine or accused of any wrongdoing.
These days, sending children, animals, and more as postage is not accepted. With more options of travel available than back then, it’s easier to transport living things (including yourself) by buying a train, plane, bus tickets, renting vehicles, coordinating with animal breeders to either drop off your new pet or find a time to travel to them, and so on. With easier solutions for travel, participating in the post for sending extravagant items is no longer required or allowed when it comes to transporting living things. Times are different and travel is much easier, dissolving the need to have a postman deliver animals and so on.
None of these things are included in the direct mail services Atlanta offers. No, those items tend to be limited to items like die-cut postcards. Atlanta post delivery of today don’t have to deal with delivering children covered in stamps, or unpredictable possums. Instead, they get to deal with providing things addressed with the aid of a mailing list service in Atlanta. There is a much more orderly system in place where items are dropped off at a center, labeled, measured, stamped, and added to the queue of shipments out for delivery. You can add trackers to your packages or letters, too, so you know every stage of delivery that your sent-out item is in. From what you see today, you would never believe the more outrageous systems in place in the distant past.
The history of delivering the items in the United States is full of these fascinating little stories, and thanks to the internet, you can read about them when curiosity strikes. And sometimes they even pop up on social media, the link making the rounds every so often when someone in your online social circle decides to share the story because it’s so interesting.
What a wonderful world we live in where we can share pictures instantly across the country or the world. Sometimes, one wonders what the people of 1913 who sent their children would think of our strange online world. Think especially of those who were already old at the time and had seen a time when cars didn’t exist, and the train was the only way to move faster than a horse. What a time to be alive. What a time to be delivered.