By the Numbers Year Americans could start sending large parcels in the mail 1913 Total USPS mail volume in 2022 127.3 billion Hours it took to deliver mail between Philadelphia and New York City by 1774 33 Cost (in cents) of a standard postage stamp 68 DI

On January 1, 1913, the United States introduced Parcel Post, a service allowing people to send packages through the mail more conveniently and at a lower cost than the existing private delivery services. It was an immediate success, allowing rural farmers and merchants to reach more customers than ever. It also courted some unexpected deliveries, when parents used Parcel Post to send their children to nearby relatives. One couple from Ohio made headlines just a few weeks after the service started by mailing their 8-month-old son to his grandmother a few miles away. Similar cases occurred throughout the year, until postal regulations changed to prohibit sending children through the mail. According to Postal Service historian Jenny Lynch, children being put in the mail was less a sign of parental negligence, and more an indication of just how much people trusted their local letter carriers.

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