By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (February 27, 2024) – Today’s edition of Fun with Maps celebrates steamboats joining the ranks of delivery transportation.

They Deliver

The idea of a surrogate delivering a message is not new.  Smoke signals to carrier pigeons to carriers on horses have been used over the ages to deliver messages. Then came the idea of organizing message delivery and postal services were born.

The Second Continental Congress authorized the formation of what became the US Postal Service in 1775.

The mail transportation methods were broadened from on foot to horse to steamboats on February 27, 1813.   Aside from conventional letters and parcels, one could ship small children up to the early 1900s.

While some believe that the US Postal Service is no longer relevant if you can email or use UPS and like, I beg to differ.   Just spend an hour at a post office and see what people are mailing, getting passport applications / renewal, obtaining postal checks, and so on.   Another hint – USPS is usually cheaper than UPS/FedEx for smaller, lighter items.

The USPS delivers 129 billion pieces of mail annually or about 390 pieces per person.

Ruth White’s pictorial map of the US is presented here from 1938.

United States Map – Circa 1938 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Fun with Maps here on Loveland Beacon.