Wagon Land Adventure : Collections
Object ID:
SL 2011-018
Object Name:
U.S. Mail Sleigh
In 1896 the U.S. Post Office Department introduced the Rural Free Delivery (R.F.D.) System so that farm dwellers could receive their mail every day, a service already provided to residents of towns and cities. Until that time it sometimes would be weeks or more before farmers could get to town to pick up letters and newspapers. In wagons built especially for their use, mail carriers were soon jogging along the country roads.

This one-horse sleigh was probably made by Ligonier Carriage Co. of Ligonier, Indiana, which specialized in mail wagons. The driver sat cozily inside, guiding the horse with reins passed through two little slots at the base of the window, and a small fire was started in the sleighs stove for warmth.

Delivery of newspapers, letters, the bi-annual Sears and Roebuck catalog; a spool of thread; and a cut of tobacco all depended on R.F.D. mailman, who brought daily contact with the outside world to isolated districts in the country.
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