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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Write it, Stamp it, Mail it!

Today's History Lesson...postal service

Awakenings provides historical insight to embrace the past, empower the present and enrich the future. As you turn back the hands of time, opportunities are afforded to make new discoveries and reflect upon old ones. With ever-changing, mind-boggling expansions, it is always interesting to examine humble beginnings.

This Day in History: July 26, 1775

Embrace the Past...

On July 26, 1775, members of the Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, agreed
That a postmaster General be appointed for the United Colonies, who shall hold his office at Philadelphia, and shall be allowed a salary of 1000 dollars per an: for himself, and 340 dollars per an: for a secretary and Comptroller, with power to appoint such, and so many deputies as to him may seem proper and necessary.

That a line of posts be appointed under the direction of the Postmaster general, from Falmouth in New England to Savannah in Georgia, with as many cross posts as he shall think fit.
This simple statement signaled the birth of the Post Office Department, the predecessor of the United States Postal Service and the second oldest federal department or agency of the United States of America.

Colonial Times

The backdrop for a unique form of writing during Colonial times
reflected a dimly lit atmosphere absorbed in pungent aromas from the kitchen.
Puritan life was harsh with very few amenities.

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Jump back in times past
Before the typewriter
Even ballpoint pens
Pencils or paper bags

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With the quill of a goose
Dip the sharp tip in ink
Scratch out a meager note
On paper made from rags

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 Fold the paper closed
Tightly smooth each edge
Seal with drops of wax
Press with a brass stamp

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Visualize this early writing
Visualize this early writing
Under the faint glow from burning fat
Where leftover grease saved for lighting
Renders your colonial day lamp
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Imagine tapping coded messages
Flicking beads upon an abacus
While tantalizing, pungent aromas
Hover lazily throughout the air
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 Jump back to colonial times
Find a place in the kitchen
Freshly baked breads, spicy fruit pies
Invite you to take a chair

 ©2013 Awakenings

20th - 21st Century

"A rural mailman travels up a creek bed toward Morris Fork near Jackson, Ky., in August 1940.;
 K. Ng rides a Segway on his mail route in July 2002 in San Francisco."
Empower the Present...
Rate increase/decrease:
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has implemented two rate adjustments in 2016. The first rate adjustment took place on Sunday, January 17, 2016 where prices of several USPS shipping products and services were impacted. The second rate adjustment occurred on Sunday, April 10, 2016 that focused on price reductions for USPS mailing services. [Source: stamp.com]
April 2016 update: First Class Mail Letters (1 oz.) rates will decrease from $0.49 to $0.47 when purchased at the Post Office. Each additional ounce will cost $0.21.
Personal letters and hand-written invitations are rapidly being replaced by e-cards, e-invitations, e-this & e-that. With the growth of online bill paying, fewer and fewer notifications are being stuffed into mail boxes.
Side note: The click of the mouse may be much faster than the mighty pen but there is empowerment when the message is personally written and stamped! 
Enrich the Future...

With the influx of electronic forms of communication, the postal service is in jeopardy. We live in a fast-paced, ever-changing society. Will the postal service survive? Only time will tell. How can you help? Write a letter today, then, just stamp it and mail it! Of course, don't stop with just this one day!

"It's going to be a much smaller postal service in the future but the goal is to make it a profitable postal service." ~Victor Dubina, Chicago Regional Communications Manager 

Related Article:

The Evolution of Mail and Postage Stamps