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Trolley Car Mail

The National Postal Museum's newest exhibition explores the history of mail trolleys. In 1892 St. Louis, Missouri added specially-outfitted cars to their mail vehicles. The service sped up mail deliveries, making it especially popular with businesses. Twelve other cities across the country jumped on board. By 1908 there were mail trolleys in Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Rochester, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Cleveland. Electrically-powered trolleys offered the opportunity for clerks to use electrically-powered canceling machines on board. What was fast became even faster. Between trolleys and multiple daily deliveries in large cities, individuals or businesses could send and receive letters as many as three to four times a day! That may not sound like much in our age of texting, but it was extraordinary to individuals at the turn of the last century.

Mail trolleys were a great success, but everything has its day. In 1913 Parcel Post Service began and instead of sacks of letters, clerks had sacks and sacks of packages to process. Far more in weight and volume than they could handle in the relatively tiny cars. About the same time the Post Office had begun using trucks to carry mail. Most cities stopped using mail trolleys between 1913 and 1919. Baltimore’s trolleys kept going until 1929, but after that, mail trolleys were no more.

Categories: Exhibits, Free, History

Event Venue

National Postal Museum

2 Massachusetts Ave., N.E.
Washington, DC 20002
  • Friday, May 19, 2017
  • Saturday, May 20, 2017
  • Sunday, May 21, 2017
  • Monday, May 22, 2017
  • Tuesday, May 23, 2017
  • Wednesday, May 24, 2017
  • Thursday, May 25, 2017
  • Friday, May 26, 2017
  • Saturday, May 27, 2017
  • Sunday, May 28, 2017
  • Monday, May 29, 2017
  • Tuesday, May 30, 2017
  • Wednesday, May 31, 2017
  • Thursday, June 1, 2017
  • Friday, June 2, 2017
  • Saturday, June 3, 2017
  • Sunday, June 4, 2017
  • Monday, June 5, 2017
  • Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  • Wednesday, June 7, 2017
  • Thursday, June 8, 2017
  • Friday, June 9, 2017
  • Saturday, June 10, 2017
  • Sunday, June 11, 2017
  • Monday, June 12, 2017
  • Tuesday, June 13, 2017
  • Wednesday, June 14, 2017
  • Thursday, June 15, 2017
  • Friday, June 16, 2017
  • Saturday, June 17, 2017
  • Sunday, June 18, 2017
  • Monday, June 19, 2017
  • Tuesday, June 20, 2017
  • Wednesday, June 21, 2017
  • Thursday, June 22, 2017
  • Friday, June 23, 2017
  • Saturday, June 24, 2017
  • Sunday, June 25, 2017
  • Monday, June 26, 2017
  • Tuesday, June 27, 2017
  • Wednesday, June 28, 2017
  • Thursday, June 29, 2017
  • Friday, June 30, 2017
  • Saturday, July 1, 2017
  • Sunday, July 2, 2017
  • Monday, July 3, 2017
  • Tuesday, July 4, 2017
  • Wednesday, July 5, 2017
  • Thursday, July 6, 2017
  • Friday, July 7, 2017
  • Saturday, July 8, 2017
  • Sunday, July 9, 2017
  • Monday, July 10, 2017
  • Tuesday, July 11, 2017
  • Wednesday, July 12, 2017
  • Thursday, July 13, 2017
  • Friday, July 14, 2017
  • Saturday, July 15, 2017
  • Sunday, July 16, 2017
  • Monday, July 17, 2017
  • Tuesday, July 18, 2017
  • Wednesday, July 19, 2017
  • Thursday, July 20, 2017
  • Friday, July 21, 2017
  • Saturday, July 22, 2017
  • Sunday, July 23, 2017
  • Monday, July 24, 2017
  • Tuesday, July 25, 2017
  • Wednesday, July 26, 2017
  • Thursday, July 27, 2017
  • Friday, July 28, 2017
  • Saturday, July 29, 2017
  • Sunday, July 30, 2017
  • Monday, July 31, 2017
  • Tuesday, August 1, 2017
  • Wednesday, August 2, 2017
  • Thursday, August 3, 2017
  • Friday, August 4, 2017
  • Saturday, August 5, 2017
  • Sunday, August 6, 2017
  • Monday, August 7, 2017
  • Tuesday, August 8, 2017
  • Wednesday, August 9, 2017
  • Thursday, August 10, 2017
  • Friday, August 11, 2017
  • Saturday, August 12, 2017
  • Sunday, August 13, 2017
  • Monday, August 14, 2017
  • Tuesday, August 15, 2017
  • Wednesday, August 16, 2017
  • Thursday, August 17, 2017
  • Friday, August 18, 2017
  • Saturday, August 19, 2017
  • Sunday, August 20, 2017
  • Monday, August 21, 2017
  • Tuesday, August 22, 2017
  • Wednesday, August 23, 2017
  • Thursday, August 24, 2017
  • Friday, August 25, 2017
  • Saturday, August 26, 2017
  • Sunday, August 27, 2017
  • Monday, August 28, 2017
  • Tuesday, August 29, 2017
  • Wednesday, August 30, 2017
  • Thursday, August 31, 2017
  • Friday, September 1, 2017
  • Saturday, September 2, 2017
  • Sunday, September 3, 2017
  • Monday, September 4, 2017
  • Tuesday, September 5, 2017
  • Wednesday, September 6, 2017
  • Thursday, September 7, 2017
  • Friday, September 8, 2017
  • Saturday, September 9, 2017
  • Sunday, September 10, 2017
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