P.O.D. Experiment with Automobiles
Office Department early recognized
the advantages of the automobile. In 1899 the Third Assistant
General, John A. Merritt, announced that the Department would
with the use of automobiles in the postal service in the District of
He was convinced they would prove useful in the collection of mail and
would result in a great saving of time. The trials were to be
in Washington because of its asphalt streets and the almost entire
In the following year, the Department saw to it that an automobile was pictured on one (the 4¢ value) of the forthcoming Pan-American stamps which were then in process of designing for issue in 1901. Apparently no automobiles were yet in the postal service and to picture one it was necessary to make a courtesy arrangement with the Baltimore & Ohio R.R. The B. & O. R.R. obliged, and so that a satisfactory photograph could be secured for use on the new stamp one of their electric coaches was drive down to the Capitol grounds. the coach was one of the vehicles which the B. & O. was using in cab service at their Washington terminal, then at New Jersey Ave., and C Street, one block from the Capitol.
- George B. Sloane
September 28, 1946
Posted October 1, 1999
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