1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email
Jennifer Rosenberg

Sending Children by Parcel Post

By June 26, 2008

Follow me on:

It's never easy traveling with children and often it can be expensive. In the early 1900s, some people decided cut costs by mailing their children via parcel post.

Sending packages via the U.S. Parcel Post Service began on January 1, 1913. Regulations stated that packages could not weigh more than 50 pounds but did not necessarily preclude the sending of children. On February 19, 1914, the parents of four-year-old May Pierstorff mailed her from Grangeville, Idaho to her grandparents in Lewiston, Idaho. Mailing May apparently was cheaper than buying her a train ticket. The little girl wore her 53-cents worth of postal stamps on her jacket as she traveled in the train's mail compartment.

After hearing of examples such as May, the Postmaster General issued a regulation against sending children by mail. This picture was meant as a humorous image to the end of such practice. (Picture courtesy of the Smithsonian Institute.)


June 27, 2008 at 8:36 am
(1) Kathleen says:

I took a college Education course for teaching children how to read last winter. One of our assignments was to read this very same story about the girl who was mailed to her grandparents’ house. She had a relative who worked in in the mail car on the train. He watched out for her all during the trip. It was a cute story but obviously it is not a good idea to “mail” people from place to place. Just a couple of years ago I heard a story about a guy who had himself shipped via FedEx or UPS. I don’t remember which shipper he used, but he made the decision to do this without the shipper even realizing it. Needless to say the shipper was not happy when they realized what had happened.

June 28, 2008 at 10:33 am
(2) N.Mutsuddi says:

I am at a loss deciding to laugh or to cough. It’s unbelieveably funny.

June 30, 2008 at 1:25 pm
(3) erin says:

How funny! I was just teasing my parents that we would “mail” their grandson to them when we moved out of state.
Can’t believe they had to make a regulation to force people not to do this! Good thing they did, the new electronic sorting system would be rough on my 5 month old.

April 27, 2009 at 11:58 am
(4) yahoooo says:

Hi, I found your site using yahoooo, does your site support firefox?

September 10, 2009 at 2:43 pm
(5) sandrar says:

Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

October 22, 2009 at 6:41 am
(6) Arnold79 says:

The procedure specifies a selection process. ,

October 23, 2009 at 6:01 am
(7) Sad48 says:

He’s advocating against Jewish everything. ,

April 22, 2013 at 12:18 am
(8) anonymous says:

great post!!!!!!!!!!

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>
  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. 20th Century History

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.