On July 26, 1775, our great nation introduced the system allowing grandmothers to send $2 bills across the American landscape for centuries – the United States Postal Service.
The service, established the Second Continental Congress, was headed by the coolest founding father of all, and our nation’s first Postmaster General – Benjie Frank Franks. (Benjamin Franklin) This strengthened communication for colonists, merchants and magazine subscription recipients nation-wide.
Up until this point in American history, correspondence was minimal. Most letters were written by British ledgers and left at taverns and inns for pick-up. Many carrier services would take multiple months to deliver a single birthday card.
“Happy Birthday Jimmy! Love, Grandma.”… “Mom! Grandma doesn’t even know when my birthday is!” It’s the snail mail Jimmy… the snail mail.
Benjamin Franklin made huge innovations to the postal service as one of the two postmaster generals selected to spearhead the department. (Obviously, this guy was a total boss.)
Franklin developed more efficient service routs, cut down on delivery time and even began to decide cargo limits by determining the weight and distance a package had to travel. You’re welcome UPS… the hard part is already done.
Franklin held his postmaster job until 1776, when he was sent to France as a diplomat. He had developed an exponentially improved, with routes leading from Florida to Maine and more fluid services between the colonies and the newly ousted queen.
President George Washington appointed Samuel Osgood as the first postmaster general of the American nation under the new U.S. constitution in 1789. (Not as cool as Benjie Franks, but we’ll give him a whirl.)
The ladies loved Franklin.
Now, the United States Post Office is the largest civilian employer in the country, with more than 700,000 workers. The postal service handles 44 percent of the worlds cards and letters, and delivers 212 billion pieces of mail each year to more than 40,000 post offices. That’s a lot of snails!