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Railway Mail Car

Railway Mail Car Santa Fe New Mexico Maximum Cards
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Stock #: 235576
Type: Postcard
Era: Continental Chrome
City: Santa Fe
State: New Mexico (NM)
County: Santa Fe
Publisher: Maximum Card Collection
Postmark: 1988 Aug-16
PM City: Santa Fe
PM State: NM
Stamp: 1c
Size: 4" x 5.75" (10.25 x 15 cm)

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Additional Details:
No. 88-46. In America's colonial days, mail agents jogged along on horseback at a few miles per hour. Later they enjoyed post-roads, and a choice of transportation alternatives--"stages, sulkies, four-horse post-coaches, horseback, packets and steam boats," according to one list. But it was the railway mail car that allowed the U.S. Post Office to come into its own. The first Post Office mail car was introduced in America in 1864, and the U.S. Post Office quickly embraced the basic mail car idea. The first fast mail train departed Grand Central Station for Chicago on September 16, 1875, and completed the trip in less than twenty-six hours. The speed of the trip amply demonstrated the advantages of a new system of catching mail bags on the run with an iron arm. The express whizzed past more than a hundred stations, seizing mail bags at each one, without a stop. By 1888, mail was distributed over 126,310 miles of railroad line with postal clerks sometimes riding in the cars to sort and pouch mail en route. The mail car had earned a place in postal history
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