During the Cold War, many unbelievable inventions were created. With the dawn of the space age, the United States began experimenting with rockets in many avenues of life. One of those avenues was with the mail.
The Post Office Department (now called the USPS) considered using rockets to deliver mail, both domestically and internationally. In 1959, Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield predicted that rocket mail would be the future of mail delivery.
The only time that mail delivery by rocket occurred successfully was in June of 1959, when the submarine USS Barbero launcheda rocket filled with 3,000 pieces of mail toward Florida. The missile was fired around noon and reached its destination twenty- two minutes later. The mail was then sorted and routed as the typical mail was.
The Post Office Department set up a post office on the submarine, and the mail was given a USS Barbero postal mark. It is interesting to note that each letter was written by Summerfield and said the same thing. The letters were sent to postmasters around the globe, to the submarine crew, and even to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. While using missiles quickened mail delivery, it also showed the world how accurate the United States’ missiles were. This futuristic mail delivery system never “took off,” and today, thousands of USPS workers continue to deliver the mail by car, train, and airplane.
Written by Josh Yohe
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