How Americans sent their children by mail

Did you know that at the beginning of the twentieth century in the United States it was possible to send children by mail, and this service cost less than one dollar, that is, 10 times cheaper than a train ticket. The child was “packed” in a special mail bag, stamped on his clothes, and the parcel was delivered to its destination. On the way, the child was looked after by postal couriers.

In 1913, the United States passed the "Mail Act", which became a good stimulus for the country's economy. Americans were able to buy groceries, clothing, grain, tobacco and medicine by mail, and parcels were now delivered to the recipient's home. But the legislators did not think over all the details, which was taken advantage of by some thrifty cunning.

The mail was obliged to deliver to the recipient not only fragile products, but also animals weighing up to 50 pounds (22, 68 kg). This was done so that the villagers could send poultry by mail, but formally the conditions were suitable for small children as well.

In January 1913 Mrs and Mr Beagle sent their grandson to grandmother by country mail. The shipment cost them 15 cents, paid for a postage stamp, and the shipment was insured for $ 50. This was the first, but not the last, child to be mailed. On January 27, 1913, Mrs and Mr Savis of Pine Hollow, Pennsylvania, sent a package with their daughter to James Byerly from Sharpsville, the same state. The girl was safely delivered to the recipient on the same day, the shipment cost her parents 45 cents.

In the same 1913, they tried to abolish the practice, indicating that children are neither bees nor beetles - the only living creatures allowed to be sent by mail. However, live parcels continued to be sent with enviable regularity.

In 1914, America's Chief Postmaster General, General Albert Sidney Burleson, issued a decree in 1914 prohibiting ordinary postmasters from accepting children for shipment. But the Americans, regardless of the ban, broke the law and continued to send children, even babies.

But on June 13, 1920, a special USPS order was issued, from which it followed that from now on it was not even worth dreaming of sending children by mail. Indeed, since then, the history of the American postal service has not known such cases.