Through the ages, people have found ways to communicate with each other by transporting written messages over both great and small distances. In the sixth century B.C. people carved messages on bronze tablets and had them delivered by horseback.
Eventually, letters written on paper were carried by horseback riders following a circuit of delivery routes. Along the different routes, fresh horses and new riders would be waiting so that the mail could be delivered as rapidly as possible. In America, this system was known as the Pony Express.
In 1775, Benjamin Franklin was appointed as the first U.S. Postmaster General by the Continental Congress and had under his jurisdiction some 50 colonial post offices. Franklin was able to introduce many improvements in the postal services, including faster mail delivery.
Airmail delivery on a regular route began in 1918; mail was flown daily between New York City and Washington, D.C. Today most mail between large cities is flown on freight airplanes.
From the early days of the stagecoach and Pony Express to the fast-moving trains, trucks, and jets of today, employees of our nation's postal services have always been a respected group of professionals. They now provide services to hundreds of millions of people.