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Photo Flashback: You've Got Mail

Today: Delivering the mail through the ages. These images from The Post's photo archives show various advances in mail-delivery technology.

mail1.jpg

This photo, by the Harris & Ewing studio, is captioned: "Motorcycle postman (1912)." That looks like it's a Washington street, but which one?

mail2.jpg

The date is missing from this photo but from the car in the background I peg it at late 1920s, early 1930s. According to a handwritten note on the back, it's a railroad mailcar in Chesapeake Beach, Md. Note the carving on the building: Seat Pleasant Bank.

mail3.jpg

This International News Photo is from 1956. The caption: Arlington, Virginia...Under a new vehicle program, the Post Office Department is purchasing 1,000 scooters; 6,000 golf caddy-type carts and 2,000 more bicycles to speed mail carriers on their appointed rounds. Mailman Joseph Adams wheels an 85-pound load on one of the caddy-type carts designed to take the load off the carrier's back as he starts his rounds from an Arlington, Virginia, branch.

mail4.jpg

This photo, taken by The Post's Frank Hoy, is from 1957. This three-wheeled vehicle is apparently a Mailster and the letter carrier is William Harrison. The caption: "William Harrison says that the Mailster slows him down when he delivers in relatively congested areas where houses are close together."

Our final image is a bit kinky:

mail5.jpg

This is from 1962, taken by The Post's Douglas Chevalier. The caption: "Mailman Ward Cogswell tries out the new harness the Post Office Department is experimenting with the protect workers from injuries in case of motor accidents. It is designed to give him freedom of movement, yet prevent injuries."

Are you a retired letter carrier? Did you ever use any of these vehicles? Do you remember them coming down your street? Share your memories in the Comments section below.

By John Kelly  |  November 16, 2009; 7:30 AM ET
Categories:  Photos of Washington  
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