US Stamps

A Christmas package label that raises a few questions

Dec 10, 2016, 2 PM
A commercial enterprise called the Christmas Mail Despatch Service was operating in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1913, if this package label is to be believed. Can any Linn’s reader contribute details about the company and its services?

By John M. Hotchner

All sorts of private enterprises have exploited Christmastime mail. We are all familiar with companies that send letters from Santa Claus upon request, and ad agencies that specialize in merchandising Christmas products in the lead up to the holiday.

But one of the oddest in my experience is the Christmas Mail Despatch Service label shown nearby. It was probably from a package or large envelope.

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The label is titled a “Night Letter,” and was sent Dec. 23, 1913, from Brooklyn, N.Y., to a local address.

I have not been able to locate any information about the Christmas Mail Despatch Service. Where did it operate, only in Brooklyn? When was it formed? What charges did it levy for precisely what services?

If any Linn’s reader has other examples of such mailings, or knows anything of the service’s story, I would appreciate it if you would contact me, John Hotchner, by email at, or by mail at Box 1125, Falls Church, VA 22041-0125.