Top Ten Things Not to Do at the Founding of the Postal Service in 1792. – Redo

Happy President’s Day.

Sunday was hectic getting ready for single-digit temperatures hitting our area. As a result, I simply did not have enough time to put together a Top Ten post. Hopefully, you will enjoy this one from February 18th, 2019. Also, I’m at Story Empire talking about prompts should you care to visit there as well.

Top Ten things not to do

Image by Matthew T. Rader – Unsplash

This post continues the Top Ten Things Not to Do with a historical backdrop. This week marks the anniversary of the founding of the postal service in 1792. If you have access to a time travel machine, please take this list with you should you land in 1792. It might help avoid some embarrassment if you end up at the first post office.

Top Ten Things Not to Do at the Founding of the Postal Service in 1792.

10 If you are at the founding of the Postal Service, do not ask for a roll of stamps. If you do, at best the clerk will be confused. At worst, they will think you are joking with a Federal employee. (Since stamps were not introduced until 1847, you are now involved in a controversy, Greggory. Fooling with a Federal Employee carries a $100.00 fine and ten days in jail or both.)

9 If you are at the founding of the postal service, do not yell at Tiny the WWF champ who is working at the postal service to pay off his assault and battery fine. If you do, at best Tiny will have taken his medication. At worst, Tiny is the first recorded episode of an employee “going postal.” (Now you’ve done it, Gregos. You’ve been the reason for the creation of a whole new verb. Countless Postal employees will curse your name from this time on.)

8 If you are at the founding of the postal service, do not lie to the clerk about the contents of your package. If you do, at best no one will be any the wiser. At worst, your package has been randomly chosen for inspection. (Funny how those twelve unpaid for letters got into that shipment of socks isn’t it? Grigory? You’ll need a bag of pence to rectify this situation.)

7 If you are at the founding of the postal service, do not mark your package fragile. If you do, at best it will be handled carefully. At worst, the word will be a challenge to all handlers to see how well you packed your item. (I guess the recipient of your package was quite surprised to receive a present of ground glass for their birthday, Gualtiero. You could tell them that it is a do it yourself crystal vase hobby kit.)

6 If you are at the founding of the postal service, do not mark your letter “air mail.” If you do, at best the clerk will think you have nothing in the envelope. At worst, your letter will end up on Ben Franklin’s desk since it is assumed his experiments with kites have something to do with your correspondence. (In this case, Gunny your private love note has been published in the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper to the delight of hundreds. Good thing you didn’t sign it.)

5 if you are at the founding of the postal service, do not ring that little bell under the sign that says ‘ring bell for service.’ If you do, at best no one will come anyway. At worst, you’ll be facing a clerk who was just having a sandwich in the back. (That white linen envelope you carefully picked out to deliver your valentine is now decorated with a mustard thumbprint, Gustavus. Best not say anything.)

4 If you are at the founding of the postal service, do not stare at the person looking at all the fugitive wanted posters. If you do, at best they are only curious. At worst, they are wanted for robbery and murder and are checking to see if there are any posters on them. (Try to look away quickly, Gwallter. Making eye contact with that person will be hazardous to your health. Oops too late.)

3 If you are at the founding of the postal service, do not take the quill pen at the desk. If you do, at best you can call it an accident. At worst, the clerk will alert the sheriff that you have stolen government property. (What a beautiful mess. If only there had been a chain on that quill, Gwernach. Oh well, ten years at hard labor will pass quickly.)

2 If you are at the founding of the postal service, do not moan out loud at the unusually long time it seems to take to serve the ten patrons in line ahead of you. If you do, at best everyone will think you have a toothache. At worst, your displeasure will be met with increased slowness on the part of the patrons and clerk. (The guy at the counter is asking the clerk for directions to Plymouth for heaven’s sake. You should have kept quiet, Gwyn.)

1 If you are at the founding of the postal service, do not attempt to mail an oversized package. If you do, at best the clerk will tell you to go away. At worst, you will be advised to read the rules and regulations of acceptable package dimensions. (If you are incredibly unlucky, Gavin the clerk will read you the rules word for word. That is payback for the person who moaned behind you.)

65 comments

  1. I don’t buy rolls any longer, what with paying most stuff online. But I think I would go with the “Air Mail” stunt, if there was any chance at all I might gain an audience with Ben Franklin. Of COURSE I would bring beer.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, the beer is a must. We do all our postage on-line and let the delivery person carry the stuff away to oblivion. Thanks, Marc.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Did you say beer? Yes please.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Here you go. 🍺

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Gwen M. Plano · · Reply

    I always wondered about “going postal” and come to think of it, what happened to the photos of the “most wanted”? Another fun Top Ten Things, John! Great photo as well. Much like your area, ours is also covered in snow with temps in the single digits. Stay warm, my friend.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Stay warm as well, Gwen 😊

      Like

  3. If you are at the founding of the postal service, do not ask how it will be impacted by the arrival of email, facebook, twitter or, Heaven forfend, Tik-Tok!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, you will be a candidate for the tar and feather send off. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  4. haha, Tiny gets a break from me today – I avoid the post office at all costs!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Me too, GP. Of course these days I avoid everyplace at all costs. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Now that you mention it…..

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This was a great re-run, John! Speaking of mail, our delivery has been horrible since the holidays.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ours has been horrible too. I guess those guys never recovered.

      Like

  6. Wait. It’s illegal to joke around with a federal employee?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes it is. 😁

      Like

  7. This is a good day to remember, John. My dad was a mailman and I worked at the PO several summers while in college. I worked with a couple of Tiny’s relatives and I think I worked with clerks great great grandson. Old Mustard Print himself.

    Nice one!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hahaha. Thanks, Dan. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This are great! I particuarly like the do it yourself crystal vase hobby kit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. Thanks, Liz.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, John.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Nice rerun, John!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ah, the Postal Service, everybody’s favorite whipping boy. But on days like this, when the temps hover around zero and the snow and ice are coming in sideways, I think we’d be better served to thank them for rendering a service plenty of us wouldn’t want to do. Great post rerun, John — stay warm and safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so right, Debby. Thanks for the reminder. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  11. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    I’m always hesitant to put fragile on a package it does seem like a challenge to see how wll its packed lol. Stay warm and safe, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha. It does feel that way some times.

      Like

  12. Mick’s been gone for six years and I am STILL on the roll of stamps he left behind!
    We have to rely on snail mail still…. sometimes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes we do. e bought a 100 forever stamps a while ago. I think we send out a letter a month. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly! Forever stamps that last forever 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes indeed. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  13. petespringerauthor · · Reply

    I seem to be one of the few people around who still appreciate that sending a letter cross country costs only a couple of quarters. Great list, John!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you may be the last Pete. 😂

      Like

  14. When I was researching “Mahoney,” I found out they didn’t have envelopes for the longest time. I think they just folded the paper and sealed it with wax. It wasn’t until the Civil War that envelopes came into use (I think). Do you have any data about that? Or a datum will do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Prior to 1851 envelopes had to be folded by hand and sealed. By 1851, a letter could be mailed coast to coast in the US for only three cents per ounce. The demand for envelopes grew after this universal postage, and folding every single envelope manually was time-consuming. British inventors Edwin Hill and Warren De La Rue solved this issue in 1840 by creating and patenting the first mass-producing envelope folding machine.
      Hill and De La Rue’s invention inspired future envelope-making machines that further improved the process. While their machine could produce sealed envelopes quickly, it was still hand-operated. In the 1850’s Russell L. Hawes invented the first automatic envelope folding machine that could produce 2,500 envelopes per hour. Then, in 1876, Henry and D. Wheeler Swift remastered a design from James Green Arnold and created the self-gumming envelope machine. Their contraption had a brush that applied gum to the envelope’s seal, which was previously done by hand. No, it wasn’t the kind that of gum you chew and blow bubbles with, gum as in gum paste derived from a tree. In 1902, Americus F. Callahan patented the window envelope to help save time and labor from addressing them by hand.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That clears that up. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Before I lament, let me just say, I have great respect for the mail, especially for Danny my mailman who looks as if he originated from the Pony Express. But lately, it’s like a dog and pony show, the postal workers, who in all fairness realize, as essential workers working through plastic dealing with a deranged, flipped out pandemic public, aren’t at their best, but your wonderful recap of its history does make me wonder, if it’s gone backwards. That all said…morning John…:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good Morning, Susannah. I will admit the Postal Service is an easy mark for humor. I think there were some real SNAFUs in deliveries this year. I think we can blame Rona and maybe a little blame goes to the machinations of the Executive branch trying to eliminate mailed ballots. In any case, these folks have a PR image right now that isn’t very strong. I do feel for the average worker who has to hope things get better. We are without power on a daily basis and it is 9 degrees F. It is a rolling blackout situation that we used to read about in third-world countries. Talk about going backward. Thanks for your message today. Hope your day is a grand one. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope it all goes back to at least a version of normalcy very soon. Blaming has no point. What they teach you in 12 Step…if there’s only a problem then there’s no solution.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Blame never gets things done. Good advice. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Like spinning your wheels…ya never get anywhere.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I always like the visual of spinning wheels and then the car spinning in a circle.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Reminds me of the Tea Cup ride, at Coney Island.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I did that once at Disney World and almost lost my cookies. Tilt a whirl is another toss for me.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. It was my favorite ride, those Tea Cups. Also the Ferris Wheel. Loved that too. Couldn’t do the Cyclone, Coney’s famed roller coaster. No way. But them tea cups, now, maybe it was just the Connecticut in me John. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I hope you held your pinky just so.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I was too busy holding on. That’s funny.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out this post from John Howell’s blog with the TOP TEN THINGS NOT TO DO AT THE FOUNDING OF THE POSTAL SERVICE IN 1792

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing, Don. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Great rerun, John! Stay warm!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Deborah

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I was reading about how mail got sent and delivered in early colonial Plymouth and Massachusetts. Anything going to England was sent on whatever boat next sailed but there was a tavern in Boston that would collect the letters to be sent!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can you imagine writing a “Come quickly I need you kind of letter?” Thanks, Noelle.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Terrific repost, John. How are doing in the ice storm? Do you have power?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our power is cycling. We are now at one hour on, one hour off. It was two hours off, four hours on, but it looks like things are getting worse. A big problem all through Texas. Seems the power commission didn’t do proper cold weather prevention on turbines and they are freezing up and shutting down. The wind turbines are freezing as well. Another question. How do the folks in Scandinavia keep their wind turbines going all winter? The governor is apoplectic and even asking businesses to shut down to save hospitals etc. Thanks for asking. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve never heard of power cycling, but it seems to be a way to keep some power going. The news reported today that Texas never built their facilities (not the right word) to handle this kind of weather because it is a rare occurrence. Had they done so, you’d be paying lots more all along. I wonder what they’ll do after this is over. And yes, how does Scandinavia keep the turbines from freezing? Please keep in touch and hopefully stay warm!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Like anything hindsight is a wonderful thing and our politicians are good at it unless it comes to something they should have done. Thanks for your good wishes. 😊

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Exactly!! Best to you, John.

        Liked by 2 people

  20. I put a birthday card to my brother out in the mailbox to be picked up on Monday and guess what. As of yesterday, it was still there with the little red flag raised. The motto of through sleet and snow no longer applies. I enjoyed this historical post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We haven’t had mail delivery for a week. 😁 Thanks, Jan

      Liked by 1 person

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