Notes from the Past

Highway Post Office

As railroads in the US drastically curtailed passenger service in the years following World War II, it became necessary to substitute Highway Post offices (HPOs) to do by road what the Railway Post Office had done by rail.

Former Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield stated in his book US Mail:  The Story of the United States Postal Service that the number of mail-carrying passenger trains dropped from 10,000 in 1920 to 2,200 in 1959, a decline of 78%.

But the Highway Post Offices only filled the gap in mail transportation between the decline of the railroads and the development of the network of airlines servicing most communities of the country.

Now the bulk of the mail flies, and the HPO is no more. 


- Kenneth A. Wood
This is Philately - Volume Two G-P
Van Dahl Publications 1982
Posted September 27, 2000

Editor's Note:  Here is a typical example of a Highway Post Office cover:

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

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