Rollover text informationAmerican Experience Logo
Chicago: City of the Century
The Film and More
Special Features
Do You Know Chicago?
Decades of Immigrants
Made in Chicago
Faces in the Crowd
Eight Anarchists
Then and Now
Your Kind of Town

People and Events
Teacher's Guide

spacer above content
Faces in the Crowd: "Letter-Carrier" previous 15 of 20 next

Uniformed letter carrier with mailbag

During the Civil War, the U.S. Postal Service began free delivery in 49 of America's cities. Before that, people had to either pick up their mail at the post office, or pay for each home delivery. Letter carriers began wearing uniforms -- blue-gray sack coats and pants -- in 1868. They delivered Montgomery Ward's first mail-order catalog -- a single sheet -- in 1872. By 1895, the catalogs that letter carriers toted in their big leather satchels weighed four pounds apiece.

Enlarge Image

previous | return to gallery index | next

Site Navigation

Special Features: Do You Know Chicago? | Decades of Immigrants | Made in Chicago
Faces in the Crowd | Eight Anarchists | Then and Now | Your Kind of Town

Chicago: City of the Century Home | The Film & More | Special Features | Timeline
Maps | People and Events | Teacher's Guide

American Experience | Feedback | Search & Site Map | Shop | Subscribe | Web Credits

© New content 1999-2003 PBS Online / WGBH

Exclusive Corporate Funding is provided by: