How Did The Postal System Affect Society

921 Words4 Pages
During the 19th century, the postal system exploded in the United States. In a 20-year span, the number of letters carried annually by the post office had nearly quadrupled (p. 3) “What changed was not simply the volume of correspondence or the number of correspondents but the expectation of contact and the perception of access.” (p. 3) The postal system transformed the character of American life, while the changing character of American life helped transform the postal system. The advancement of the postal system and society’s need of connectivity pushed postal culture from a mean of mass communication to a mean of personal connection. The effects society and technology have on each other are still as prevalent today as they were in the 19th century. It seems like a “chicken or the egg” concept. Was it the change in society that sparked the postal system or the postal system that sparked this change in society? An argument can be made for both sides. Though, the best argument is that the two sides worked…show more content…
The first is offered through correspondence written between young children and their parents (pp. 24-25). These examples provide insight into how the post was being integrated into children’s education. There was a push for increased literacy. Just as children today take classes in typing and software programs, these children were learning to write letters. An example of society penetrating the postal system was the establishment of physical post offices and the social aspect of visiting them. Going to pick up your mail was only one of the reasons people visited the post office. The post office was a social experience. People from all different backgrounds gathered to receive just as unique correspondence. Men often dominated the post office. In some of the locations women were provided separate entrances and windows to provide them privacy when sending
Open Document