Friday, February 09, 2007

Orlando Mail Delivery In The Early 1900s

Submitted by Steve Barnett, from his father's, Dale Barnett's recollections.

Claude Mick was Orlando's Postmaster from 1927 to 1947 and Alva Barnett and Press Bragg delivered the mail on the 2 rural routes. They used a car in the summer when the roads were passable and horses the rest of the time. Alva's brother Bill Barnett also delivered the mail at one time.

To the right are Bill and Alva on horseback with the mail sacks on their saddles.
At this same time, mail delivery was also an interesting affair by train. In towns where trains stopped, such as Orlando, mail would be picked and delivered from the mail car and the post office. In small whistle stops, the train normally would not stop. Mail to be delivered would be tossed out the door as the train passed by, and mail to be picked up would be snagged of off a pole by an arm cranked out of the mail car window. Depending on the rail line, they might also leave mail by having it snagged off of the side of the mail car. The mail that was picked up would be sorted on the train for delivery.

Above is a stock photo of the interior of a railroad car that was used as a traveling Post Office, as Dale and Steve describe. The cars were of standard design across the country. This photo was taken in the 1920s. For more see The National Museum of American History

Bonnie (Brown) Neal provides pictures, left to right, of Claud Mick, Alva Barnett and Press Bragg, mentioned above, from a photo taken in the 1960s at Press Bragg's retirement party.

See also tan entry in Dec. '06
See also an entry in Feb. '07 Press Bragg's Retirement Party

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