1918: Shipping Children by Parcel Post

Two Girls Sent By Parcel Post over New Motor Mail Truck Route; Postage $1.23
from the Springfield, Mo. Republican September 3, 1918, page 8.

“Josephine McCall, 7 years old, and Iris Carter, 8 years old, have been stamped, mailed and yes delivered by the parcel post from their home in Red Top to their aunt, Mrs. Bessie McCall, 1221 North Campbell Street, Springfield.  They came all the way in one of the new motor trucks over one of the new routes and were driven by W. E. Fawcett who delivered them.

When the relatives of Josephine and Iris at Red Top were troubled as to how to get the children to Springfield without sending someone up with them they hit upon the idea of sending them by parcel post and by the way of the new motor route or “a la motor truck”.  The regulations say that all goods must be stamped and weighed, registered, etc.

The children were weighed and the cost of sending them figured at the regular rates of sending things.  Josephine, it was found could go for 52 cents but it took 70 cents to pay for the mailing and delivery of Iris.

A dollar and twenty-three cents was paid and the children were stamped like ordinary parcels.  When the driver of the new motor truck, W. E. Fawcett , came steaming into Red Top he found the two children awaiting him along with other things he was to deliver to Springfield.

Mr. Fawcett believes that a kid or two at a time to deliver is all right but he is glad the idea does not occur to many parents at present when moving their children and he is dreading the time when he will find children all along the way and persons in parcels at every post office.”

In 1914, the parents of a blonde four-year-old named May Pierstroff sent her from Grangeville, Idaho to her grandparents in another part of the state for 53 cents, the going rate for chickens. Word of her excursion quickly prompted the Post Office Department to forbid sending any human being by mail.
Found at Smithsonian Libraries

1913 New York Times Article

“This city letter carrier posed for a humorous photograph with a young boy in his mailbag. After parcel post service was introduced in 1913, at least two children were sent by the service. With stamps attached to their clothing, the children rode with railway and city carriers to their destination. The Postmaster General quickly issued a regulation forbidding the sending of children in the mail after hearing of those examples.”

Found at the Smithsonian’s Flickr Page.

The practice of sending children by Parcel Post was officially prohibited on June 13, 1920.

The Old Wolf has spoken.


One response to “1918: Shipping Children by Parcel Post

  1. Pingback: Is it legal to mail people via USPS? | The Law In Life

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