Flickr Find | The Postal Service

My obsession for Flickr took a serious back seat to the thousands of great images that emerged through the massive Life archive. Over the Memorial Day weekend I spent a fair amount of time mining the Flickr, working my way through a good swath of the Smithsonian’s image collection. One of my favorite images is “the first day of airmail” which is pictured below. This photo sparked a full-on Postal Service set and the Flickr Find is back!


Description: Army airmail pilot Lt. Torrey Webb receives a celebratory watch from a representative of the Hamilton Watch Company. Each of the pilots flying the first day’s mail between Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and New York City received a Hamilton Watch. Webb flew the Curtiss Jenny JN-4H between New York City and Bustleton airfield near Philadelphia on May 15, 1918.

It is interesting to see Hamilton – a company still giving American made timepieces a good name – doing marketing giveaways all the way back in 1918.




It is difficult to be nostalgic about the Postal Service considering every time I set foot in a post office my blood boils, but these pictures are pretty amazing. It is interesting to see the people that laid the ground work for the modern delivery systems that we all take for granted. Or maybe I just like to look at old pictures. Either way this stuff is pretty cool.








More Flickr Finds can be seen here.

Comments on “Flickr Find | The Postal Service

    brandon sargent on May 29, 2009 10:00 AM:

    we have a beautiful art deco post office in center city with honestly 40 service windows. for whatever reason, i’ve never seen more than four open during lunch hour.

    David on May 29, 2009 10:08 AM:

    Great set. I am sorry to see the deterioration of the postal service uniform, as noted last week at my local PO where the staff all wore USPS polos. Sharp uniforms demand attention to detail – an element that this particular PO unfortunately apparently lacked.

    Thanks for a trip back in postal time.

    Speedmaster on May 29, 2009 12:08 PM:

    Very cool, I love these old pics! ;-)

    Turling on May 29, 2009 1:11 PM:

    I want that mail truck in the bottom picture. Slap my name and “cabinet maker” on the side and what a hell of a delivery vehicle.

    seesaw designs on May 29, 2009 1:51 PM:

    Such a great resource, and awesome photos. My grandfather worked for the postal service, so I’m just imagining him in all of these settings!


    S.Acton on May 29, 2009 8:26 PM:

    Fantastic. The US Postal Service deserves a shout out now and then. The Railway PO was impressive as hell:

    I’m going to start writing letters again.

    ~ S

    DJ on May 30, 2009 2:08 AM:

    Their new commercials for priority flat-rate boxes are pretty funny… though compared to other shipping services their rates are a lot lower. And even though I’ve heard many horror stories about the USPS, I’ve never had a problem with them.

    Though I do still wished they carried those beat-up leather mail bags…

Comments are closed.