Letters are still really special to receive. But special delivery letters were super special!!!  :))))

Often, we take things for granted. Flip a switch, and the lights work, turn on the faucet and the water flows, adjust the thermostat and the heat goes up or log into Google and do a search.  You can add, push a button, and the car starts.  Yesterday I got an extra early start at the office (for those that know me, that’s really early) and caught up on some mail awaiting my attention.  I got to thinking about the ease of which mail still works – write a letter, affix a stamp, leave for the mail carrier and it soon arrives at its destination. (Talk about a PIA (Pain in the @%$) Job! Seems a bit dated with the speed of email and Zoom conferences, but it’s still a key function of running a successful business. I looked online to learn a bit more about the history of our mail system, and found out today, March 3 had some meaningful postal  milestones, 1847 – US Post Office issues first postage stamp, 1855 – US Congress authorizes registered mail, 1863 – free city delivery replaces zone postage, and 1885 – US Post Office offer special delivery for first class mail… funny how they all fell on the same day of the year. We continue to see innovations and improvements to our mail system Interested in seeing how electric vehicles – automation gets implemented in the delivery process. I did some digging on Special Deliveries and wanted to share the following info.

For those SNL fans who remember “landshark”: CLICK HERE!!!!!

  • U.S. Special Delivery was a postal service paid for with additional postage for urgent letters and postal packets which are delivered in less time than by standard or first-class mail service. Different and separate from express mail delivery service, it meant that a postal packet was delivered from a post office to the addressee immediately once it arrived at the post office responsible for delivering it, rather than waiting for the next regular delivery to the addressee.
  • The U.S. Post Office in conjunction with the Universal Postal Union established a basis for a special service for speedier delivery of mail for an extra fee beginning in 1885. Special Delivery was at first limited to post offices that operated in townships with populations of 4,000 or more.
  • In 1885 Congress enacted the use of “a special stamp of the face valuation of ten cents … [that] when attached to a letter, in addition to the lawful postage thereon … shall be regarded as entitling such letter to immediate delivery.”
  • The first Special delivery stamp was printed by the American Bank Note Company and issued on October 1, 1885. It could not be used to prepay postage or any other service. The stamp bears the words “Secures immediate delivery at a special delivery office,”.
  • In 1886 Congress revised Special Delivery service to all U.S. post offices. Special Delivery service was in operation from 1885 to 1997 whereby the letter would be dispatched immediately and directly from the receiving post office to the recipient rather than being put in mail for distribution on the regular delivery route.
  • Five distinct issues showing the running messenger were made. Beginning in 1902 and continuing for 20 years, Special Delivery messengers were issued bicycles to deliver the mail and correspondingly a stamp was issued that year which depicted a messenger riding a bicycle and delivering the mail.
  • In 1908 a helmet of the god Mercury was briefly used for the design, with the stamp often called the Merry Widow issue after a popular opera in which the lead singer wore a large hat. The bicycle design was reinstated and continued with subsequent issues having differences in perforations and watermarks. The series ended in 1922 when a messenger riding a motorcycle was shown, replaced by a truck in 1925. In the following years the truck and motorcycle pictures reappeared as rates changed and various color, printing and perforation varieties were created.
  • Finally in 1954 a design featuring hands passing a letter went into use. The last image, instituted in 1969, portrayed arrows. Overall philatelists recognize 23 separate issues of special delivery stamps spanning the years 1885 to 1971.
  • Three Airmail Special Delivery stamps were issued in the 1930s, two regular ones and an imperforated issue. In used condition none of the special delivery stamps are particularly scarce. In 1977, the Postal Service introduced Express Mail; the two services operated concurrently for the next 20 years.
  • On June 7, 1997, the United States Postal Service terminated Special Delivery mail service which left many unused Special Delivery stamps in circulation that were no longer valid for such postage. The remaining stamps were allowed to be returned to the Post Office for their face value as “services were not rendered”.  Amazing the change since 1997 in the mail service and delivery in general!
  • In 2021, the following stats describe the scale of the US Post office:

                 Employees:  516,636

                Mail Volume:  128.9B

                First Class Mail:  50.7B

                Shipping/Packages: 7.6B

                Delivery Points:  163.1M

                Address changes:    36M

                Retail Offices:  34,223

                Total delivery Routes:  233,171

                Total Vehicles:  232,368

  • Announced in Dec ’22, USPS intends to deploy over 66,000 battery electric vehicles by 2028, making one of the largest electric vehicle fleets in the nation. The initiative is boosted by postal service “Delivering for America” network modernization and funding from Congress. The feasibility of achieving 100% electrification for the overall Postal Service delivery vehicle fleet will continue to be explored. Beyond vehicle mix changes, postal network modernization efforts will drive additional substantial carbon reductions through logistics improvements and reduced transportation.



Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!