Notes from the Past

Delivery More Certain If Unpaid

In olden days when to prepay or not to prepay postage was optional with the writer of a letter, many felt that letters from distant points were more certain of delivery if the Post Office Department was obliged to collect postage from the addressee on delivery.  A man writing from California in 1851, after detailing his adventurous trip from the East, added, "It is said that letters if prepaid, are not so certain to reach their destination.  I will therefore not pay this, and request you charge postage thereon to my account."  The letter was delivered and the recipient paid the postage charges of 40.
- George B. Sloane
Sloane's Column
August 9, 1941

Posted July 17, 1999

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

Note:  If the link isn't returned the first try, try again.

Comments? Send me an e-mail
Please include a reference to this item.