Be joyful even though you have considered all the facts...practice resurrection. -Wendell Berry

Sunday, April 10, 2016

stamps and snail mail and the postal museum

-The Letter, drypoint, softground etching, and aquatint, 1890-1891 by Mary Cassatt, at the National Gallery of Art.

-Parcel post box held 6 dozen eggs, early 1900's, at the National Postal Museum.

-Re-created railway mail car, where mail was processed by sorting mail aboard a moving train, at the National Postal Museum.

-Renovated stagecoach, "White River Junction+Woodstock", a gem from Vermont, at the National Postal Museum.

-My very own snail mail station, complete with stamps, pens, blank notes, cards and envelopes, home sweet home.

For a snail mail loving letter writer like me, a stop at the National Postal Museum was near the top of my list of things to see in Washington, D.C.  We spent a good bit of time poring over the many fascinating exhibits, and came away with a renewed appreciation for what a tiny bit of paper stuck to an envelope can accomplish. E-mail has a place in the world, no doubt, but I remain convinced that snail mail can be far more satisfying and magical. 

Some of my favorite exhibits were post secrets, mail call (the military mail system) and the pony express. It was also fun learning about the "King's Best Highway", or the Boston Post Road. Set up in early 1673, it became what is now US Route 1, running from Boston to New York City. If you go on over to the National Postal Museum website, you can explore all of these and more. 

(My phone camera was a handy friend on this trip, but had varying results as far as photo quality is concerned. For better picture resolution and detail of some of these exhibits, the website may be the place to go.)


  1. I too share a love of letter writing and all things "mail". As a child my dream job was working in a post office. The highlight of my day used to be collecting the mail. Now it is just filled with bills and junk.

  2. I wonder how many eggs got broken in the postal box? I love your snail mail station and would love a writing desk of my own. :-)

  3. How lovely and what fun!

    I adore your snail mail station and now I can imagine (picture!) you sitting down and writing your letters. :)