US Stamps

By John M. Hotchner

How souvenirs were once sent through the mail

October 27, 2016 01:00 PM

  • This leather Native American baby carrier was sent attached to the mailing tag bearing two 1¢ Washington Presidential series, or Prexie, stamps. The stamps are the only clue to when the mailing took place.

By John M. Hotchner

Souvenirs sent through the mail are seldom seen these days because size limitations imposed by the United States Postal Service eliminate the sorts of things that used to be sent by enthusiastic travelers in the old days.

A nice example that recently came my way is shown nearby. It is a leather Native American baby carrier with the infant inside attached to a mailing tag. On the reverse of the tag is the following poem:

“Meet my new friend Smiling Face

“Very pleasant as you see, 

“Who’ll take my message straight to you

“I’m well as well can be.”

The tag also notes that the souvenir was mailed from Grants, N.M. It is addressed to Fulton, Mo., but was “Missent to Inman, Kansas” before being sent to the correct destination.

Given that the address was light and in pencil, “Fulton” could be mistaken for “Inman”, but “Kansas” for “Missouri”? That stretches the imagination.

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