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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Sandwich Depot: 1906

Sandwich Depot: 1906




Order Cooking a Specialty.




1906. "Post Office, Worcester, Massachusetts." The highlight here (for Shorpy, at least) is the Sandwich Depot next door, and its sign beckoning the passing ghost pedestrians. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Relay Mail II

In Baltimore in the late 40's and early 50's I remember the postmen boarding the 15 streetcars near the main post office on Calvert and Fayette en masse all during the day.

A partial empty 15 Overlea or 15 Woodlawn would soon be filled by men carrying sacks of mail and no tokens seemed to be needed, just the uniform and a mail sack either empty or full was the only thing required to ride.

I remember the men joking and taunting each other as if the streetcar was just an extension of their locker room. Although there were somewhat heated shouting matches at times I never did hear so much as a hell, a damn or even the big F word.

Relay Mail

When I started at the Post Office in 1970 the old-timers who were near retirement used to tell me stories. They were just starting their careers when letter carriers like the one on the steps in the picture were ending theirs. One of the stories involved how mail was delivered back then, before carriers were issued trucks for each mail route.

The carrier on the steps is waiting for a streetcar; his route probably started some distance away from the office. Some other carriers had their routes start from the Post Office, working away from then back to the P.O. in a "horseshoe" or "loop". They used satchel carts, loaded them to capacity, and when the cart was empty, would go to a relay box (those green boxes that stood on corners) which was loaded with mail put there by a Post Office truck.

Letter carriers rode streetcars for free. Whether they carried streetcar tokens given to them by management is lost to the ages. The carrier in the picture would have got off the streetcar, started delivering his route, then worked the rest of it out of the same type relay boxes as the others. A streetcar ride back to the P.O. when done, deposit outgoing mail, turn in keys, then clock out.

Appropriate appearance

That's a letter carrier, complete with satchel, poised on the front steps.

Worcester Booster

I grew up in Worcester. Although the federal courthouse that is now on this site is stunning, many beautiful old buildings in Worcester were torn down and replaced with ugly, nondescript ones. The building in the background with the horse and buggy in front is still there, thankfully.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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