It comes under a lot of criticism because of what seems to be constantly rising rates, but the United States Postal Service is the country’s largest civilian employer with over 700-thousand workers who handle 44 percent of the world’s cards and letters.  They deliver 212 billion pieces of mail every year to over 144 million homes and businesses in this country as well as Puerto Rico, Guam, the American Virgin Islands and American Samoa. They’re a non-profit, self-supporting company and the only way they continue to operate is thru the
sale of postage.  One of their biggest expenses is fuel.  The Post Office says when gas goes up by just a penny – it costs them 8-million dollars.

  • Some post office facts:
  • There are over 40-thousand post offices in this country.  The smallest one is just 61-square feet.
  • 405-thousand pieces of mail are handled every minute.
  • Mules are used to deliver mail to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
  • The first postage stamps were issued in 1847.

Ben Franklin was the first postmaster of Philadelphia and worked on improving mail delivery between
the major cities in the colonies and with Great Britain, but the British fired him from his job because of his revolutionary activities.  He wasn’t out of work long though.  He was appointed postmaster general of the
newly created U-S Postal Service by the Continental Congress on this date in 1775.  In just a short time he established regular mail routes from Maine to Florida.

He introduced a rate chart, basing delivery costs on distance and weight.  And he cut delivery time in half
between the major cities by having mail wagons operate day and night using relay teams.