One of the main reasons why using our imagination and encouraging others to use theirs is so fun is because we never get what we expect. When it comes to mailing, you might think the options are more or less limited, but as it turns out, some people will disagree with you. Here are ten totally unexpected mail ideas for you.
1. Mailing children
Whenever something new pops up, people feel the urge to test its limits. The US parcel post system makes no exception. The system was founded in 1913 and stirred people’s imagination right away. In January 1913, Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Beauge wanted to send their son away to his grandmother’s on a visit. After analysing the costs, they decided to send him by post rather than by train. So they had him stamped for 15 cents and insured for 50 USD. Attempts were soon made for the practice to be banned, but the whole thing only stopped in 1915.
2. Mailing slaves
Henry Brown managed to escape slavery after invoking a “heavenly vision” he allegedly had had, which he used as a pretext to have himself shipped to Philadelphia on 9 March 1849. The postal service workers knew they were delivering a plain wooden crate with a total weight of 200 pounds, when in fact they were delivering a slave. Brown was helped by a friend of his, who was a storekeeper. His destination was abolitionist James Miller McKim’s home, which he reached within 27 hours. His subsequent boasting, which he was much reprimanded for, led to the Fugitive Slave Act being passed in 1850.
3. Mailing live cats
From 1897 to 1953, the New York postal service used pneumatic tubes to ease the mail delivery process. The cylinders were filled with mail and the tubes whisked them at a speed of about 56 km per hour to different corners of the world. The first items ever to be delivered using this system were fake peach, a Bible and, last but not least, a live cat. Later on, in 1931, one of the witnesses to the event reported that the cat reached its destination unharmed, though a bit confused.
4. Mailing thousands of spooky letters
Mailing one letter is customary, but mailing thousands of them, all to one town with a population of only 13,000? Not that customary. The people of Circleville, Ohio started to receive anonymous letters in which they were accused of various wrongdoings back in 1976. Paul Freshour was suspected of writing those letters and killing a local by the name of Ron Gillespie after confronting him. He was imprisoned, but pleaded not guilty. The letters continued to arrive in people’s mailboxes even during his imprisonment until they finally stopped in the 1990s.
5. Mailing bank buildings
William H. Coltharp wanted to build a brick bank in Vernal, Utah using bricks from Salt Lake City, so he delivered all 80,000 of them by mail. The bricks, which weighed 40 tons all in all, were delivered in sets of 40 crates, each weighing less than 50 pounds. Later on, the daily limit was set at 200 pounds.
And there is more to come…