April 15, 2015
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s death I wanted to tell you a little known fact of this great man. On May 7, 1833, 24-year-old Lincoln was appointed postmaster of New Salem, Illinois. Postmaster Lincoln served until the office was closed May 30, 1836. Postmaster Lincoln was one of only two postmasters who later became U.S. President.
April 14, 1860: Riders arrived in both St. Joseph Missouri and Sacramento California with the mail. This proved the mail could be delivered in ten short days using this innovative system. Hoards of people turned out in both cities to welcome the riders. The mail arrived in St. Joseph around 5:00 pm while the mail arrived in Sacramento California shortly after midnight on that same day.
With new technology making leaps and bounds, traditional mail service has been obliged to follow suit. Operated differently than a private company, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is a governmental agency of the United States of America. In order for this service to run, profits must be made from the cost of shipping, supplies, and services. To stay competitive with private company shipping, USPS has kept up with technology.
Since then, the USPS has also initiated stronger security measures following attempted anthrax deliveries, created the office of the Inspector General in order to combat fraud and ensure transparency with the organization, and has continued to update its postal code and bar code equipment in order to deal more efficiently with the increasing volumes of mail and packages in the 21st century. Today, the USPS is the third-largest civilian employer in the United States, and remains a cornerstone in the development of the country as we know it today.
In order to offset the loss of employees who became soldiers during World War II, the Post Office Department introduced the concept of a zoning address system in several large cities. Eventually this developed into the Zoning Improvement Plan ZIP Code system, and by July 1963, every home in the country had been assigned a 5-digit code. By the end of the 1960s, the US Post Office was struggling financially and reform was desperately needed. In 1970, comprehensive legislation was introduced and by 1971, the US Post Office was transformed into the United States Postal Service. The Postal Reorganization Act changed the face of the organization, particularly relating to its labor relations, financials and transportation. The USPS added four digits to the existing five-digit ZIP Codes in order to increase efficiency and speed of mail handling and delivery in 1983.
The 19th century saw a massive surge in the development of postal services in the United States. The population of the country increased tenfold in the period from 1790 to 1860, and the postal offices and employee numbers reflected this growth – the number of post offices increased from 75 to over 28,000 in this period. New methods of mail delivery were pioneered, such as steamboats and railroad, but quicker service to the Pacific Coast was needed. This led to the development of the iconic Pony Express – a system using hardy horses, good riders, and relay stations 10 – 15 miles apart to ensure fresh mounts for the long journeys. Although the system only ran for 18 months, it remains an iconic symbol of American postal history. At a time when air travel was just an experiment, the Post Office was instrumental in investigating the possibilities of mail delivery via air. Their efforts paid off, and by 1918, Congress approved a large sum to be devoted to providing airmail routes and the system has gone from strength to strength since.
While I’m working on updating my Zip Code site I would like to provide you with a weekly history lesson about the US Postal System, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did working on it.
The United States Postal Service as we know it today had its beginnings at the birth of the country itself. The mail service has the unique distinction of being one of few governmental agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution, under the so-called “Postal Clause.” Although postal services had been active in the colonies before independence from Great Britain,the service flourished following the establishment of the United States Post Office in 1775. Over the next few decades, the postal service was extended westward, as Congress authorized the construction and establishment of postal routes across the country.
Over the next several weeks Zip Code Database will undergo a complete transformation. We are going to attempt to provide not only zip codes for the entire United States but also zip code maps, tracking & delivery information…. get estimated delivery information from all the major shipping carriers, an easier zip code look up service, Price Calculator…. calculate USPS postage rates quickly and easily online for domestic and international shipping.
Many people have wrongfully branded Postal Service as a failure. In fact, some have been waiting for it to close shop. However, this only shows how ignorant most people are about the services offered by the Postal Service. It also shows their ignorance about the amazing scale and reach of the institution. Think about the more than 160 billion mail handled by the institution annually. Quite a volume, isn’t it? You can find the institutions outlets everywhere in all parts of the country. This means everybody everywhere in the country can access its services at standardized low costs. Deliveries are made to very remote and secluded places, especially remote islands that are a little bother for private entities. In fact, it is the only communication lifeline in remote areas without broadband availability. Therefore, no matter where you live In the United States, you can comfortably trust the Postal Service to help you in zip code lookup.
The United States Postal Services has stood the test of time. In this technological era, where other faster and more efficient of communication exist, postal services have remained a fall back. Quite a small fraction of the population are enthusiastic about much of what they receive through their postal mail addresses. Ask most people how they handle their letters, cards and bills and they will mention such services as e-mail, telex, holograms, telephones, telegrams, fax machines and FedEx. And rightly so. A wide range services for daily communication and transaction needs are now available