Notes from the Past

Backstamping of Mail Ended

For many years it was required that first class mail be backstamped at the post office of delivery to show the time the mail was received there.  In the interests of economy and to save time, Postmaster Albert S. Burleson brought this backstamping to an end in the summer of 1913.  Srangely, postmasters in the smaller offices complained over the new regulation, but the order of the P.M.G. was not rescinded.
- George B. Sloane
Sloane's Column
July 24, 1954

Posted July 31, 1999

Editor's Note:  There are some wonderful backstamped covers of the 1880s which show how fast the postal and rail systems were in those days.  Arrival on the same day is not unusual.  The elapsed time between postmarking and backstamping isn't duplicated even today.

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