Remember when...? In praise of the Post Office
The U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday that it plans to end Saturday mail delivery, in one of the most significant steps taken to date to cut costs at the struggling agency. It wasn’t always like this. For generations, the postal service was embraced as an American treasure: the idea that one could slap an inexpensive stamp on an envelope in Maine and a stranger would, within days, safely and reliably hand-deliver that letter to someone in California suggested a kind of national ingenuity and generosity that pretty much every citizen could take pride in. See more great photos from way back when at Life.com.
Mail carrier Clifford Bodine, Michigan, 1955.
(Wallace KirklandTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images)
Rural Vermont mailman Mark Whalon makes rounds in sub-zero weather.
(Alfred EisenstaedtTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images)
Self-service, 24-hour automated post office, Maryland, 1964.
(Francis MillerTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images)
Singing cowboy Gene Autry (second from left) stands outside the post office in an Oklahoma town named for him, 1948.
(Michael RougierTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images)
Post office, Washington D.C., 1944.
(George SkaddingTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images)