SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

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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Mail Early: 1914

Mail Early: 1914

Washington, 1914. "Post Office Department, parcel post." Don't forget to include your Postal Zone. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

12th & Pennsylvania

This is at the rear loading dock of the Post Office Department building at 12th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. Parcel Post was added as a mail class a year earlier, in 1913.

Frank R. Scheer
Railway Mail Service Library

Less is more.

Less IS more. There really is a charm about brown paper packages wrapped with string. Bet they used red string at Christmas.

There it is!

The package Great-Grandmother sent to me in 1914, and just arrived yesterday. She should have opted for first class.


Being something of a luddite, I occasionally still ship packages wrapped in brown paper, and tied with string. The post office never complains, and everything gets where it's going unharmed, so I have to wonder if it really is a no-no...

I actually just mailed several packages earlier today, which were wrapped in brown kraft paper and tied with parachute cord. (I'm out of twine, doh.)


I notice the packages are wrapped with string, in today's automated postal system this is a big don't.

Brown paper packages...

...tied up with string. These are a few of my favorite things!

Inspections required

Col. Klink: The early years.

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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