Children in the Mail

4

Back in the early 1900s, some families decided to send their kids through the mail. Learn more about this unusual practice after the break.

Sending packages to distant places became easier in 1913 thanks to the US Parcel Post Service. Since the service was new and the regulations had some loopholes, some families saw this as an opportunity to save some money when traveling. A few families decided to send their kids through the postal service to reach a certain destination.

Such was the case with May Piestorff, a 4-year old girl who travelled from Grangeville to Lewiston in Idaho. Her parents decided to mail her instead of buying a train ticket since sending a package was cheaper than buying a train ticket for her. Because there was no clause in the regulations of the post office for this, May was able to reach her destination through a parcel post service. The regulations only stated that packages to be sent should not be more than 50 lbs and May was about 1 lb shy of the weight limit. She was put in the mail compartment of the train and travelled with postal stamps on her clothes.

May at age 5 image via National Postal Museum
Train from Grangevill to Lewiston image via Michael O. Tunnell
May’s grandmother’s house image via Micahel O. Tunnell

There were several instances of this so the Postmaster General decided to change the regulations and ban sending children through the parcel service.

May Piestorff is now the subject of a children’s book by Michael O. Tunnell, Mailing May.

image via Michael O. Tunnell

The picture below was taken as a humorous statement after the ban of delivering children took effect.

image via Smithsonian Institution Photostream

written by jeanmendoza on 2011-10-13 in #lifestyle #may-piestorff #post #mail #parcel #vintage

4 Comments

  1. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    This is such a cute article. I can't believe this actually happened. Great photos. I need to get that book for my neice and nephew,

  2. mephisto19
    mephisto19 ·

    It is the early version of dog in a bag is a bag and bags travel for free with Deutsche Bahn ;)

  3. icuresick
    icuresick ·

    Hahaha! Funny story!

  4. domo-guy
    domo-guy ·

    I guess these are real-life storks.

More Interesting Articles

  • A Salute to the Masters: Judo (A Tribute to Sabine Weiss)

    written by sirio174 on 2015-04-18 in #world #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Judo (A Tribute to Sabine Weiss)

    This article is a tribute to the street and humanist photographer Sabine Weiss. Considered a living legend in street photography, she likes to photograph daily lives of people, trying to capture the emotions she recognizes around her. Weiss like to photograph people of all ages but she especially loves to take photos of children, masterfully immortalizing their spontaneous gestures and emotions. For this article, I was inspired by one of her rare sports photos of some children practicing judo. Do you want to know more about this great artist? Well, read on!

  • Vintage Snapshots of Outdoor Playtime

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-06-21 in #world #lifestyle
    Vintage Snapshots of Outdoor Playtime

    Some city-based parents feel wistful when they see their kids huddled in front of screens. There is nostalgia for tree climbing, hopscotch and bicycling. And why must children of today spend all their free time playing with zeroes and ones? This black and white gallery will inspire you to get the little ones out and about even just for the weekend.

    1
  • Some of the World's Most Valuable Photographs

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-04-06 in #world #lifestyle
    Some of the World's Most Valuable Photographs

    To get in the spirit of Film Photography Day, learn more about the early 20th century's auction-worthy prints from this video by Sotheby's.

  • Shop News

    the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

     the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

    Let your loved one pick the gift of their dreams. Lomography Online Shop Gift Certificates are the perfect present for every analogue devotee on your gift list

  • Marcus DeSieno's 'Cosmos'

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-02-18 in #people #lifestyle
    Marcus DeSieno's 'Cosmos'

    In this aptly-titled series, one photographer attempts to comprehend the vastness of the universe through a rather unusual process.

    5
  • 'Beyond the Dark Veil' Highlights Macabre Victorian Practice

    written by chooolss on 2014-12-06 in #news
    'Beyond the Dark Veil' Highlights Macabre Victorian Practice

    Get a glimpse of the haunting practice that dates back to the Victorian era through the haunting post-mortem and mourning photographs, as well as other related ephemera, documented in this upcoming book.

  • Shooting the Petzval Lens with Ian Taylor

    written by givesmehell on 2015-04-29 in #people #lomoamigos
    Shooting the Petzval Lens with Ian Taylor

    Canadian-born Ian Taylor is a full-time photographer specializing in kids and development work. It all started when his five siblings started having children at the same time he was into photography. This passion then spiraled into something amazing, and now Ian works primarily with kids, shooting them when they are in their purest form. Based in Asia, Ian has agreed to share this amazing series of photos he shot with his Petzval Art Lens in Cambodia and Thailand. He also shared with us some of his insights and views on photography.

  • Shop News

    Fisheye One Pearl Blue

    Fisheye One Pearl Blue

    Snap dazzling 35mm fisheye shots at the push of a button with this shimmery blue lightweight beauty.

  • Newcomer of the Week: billseye

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-06-14 in #world #lifestyle
    Newcomer of the Week: billseye

    Having a professional photographer in the family paved a way for Bill to start taking interest in photography early on. In this interview, he shares more about how he discovered the community and his passion for shooting analog. Let's all welcome our newcomer of the week from USA, billseye!

    3
  • Artist Jennifer West Mounts Flashlight Filmstrip Projections in Ongoing Exhibit

    written by chooolss on 2014-09-27 in #news
    Artist Jennifer West Mounts Flashlight Filmstrip Projections in Ongoing Exhibit

    35mm and 70mm filmstrips take center stage in this fascinating cinematic installation by Los Angeles-based artist Jennifer West. Learn more about it after the jump!

  • On Lomo'Instant Festival Tour with Berlin Sessions

    written by zonderbar on 2015-07-18 in #people #lifestyle #lomoamigos
    On Lomo'Instant Festival Tour with Berlin Sessions

    According to our latest LomoAmigos Berlin Sessions, there is one camera this summer which you always carry with you - our beloved Lomo'Instant! The camera is accompanying the crew of the Berlin-based video magazine on their acoustics sessions all over the city and on the hippest festivals in Germany. Learn more about Berlin Sessions and their Lomo'Instant festival tour in this exclusive interview!

  • Shop News

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Whatever kind of film development you're after, you'll find it here! Now you can confidently shoot from the hip without having to worry where to develop those film rolls!

  • Petzval History Series: The Invention of the First Petzval Lens

    written by pripri2000 on 2015-06-11 in #gear #lifestyle
    Petzval History Series: The Invention of the First Petzval Lens

    Not long after Joseph Petzval's move to Vienna in 1837, he joined the race to create a faster camera lens. He succeeded in 1840 with what became known as the Petzval Lens. Let's take a step back and look more closely at the development of this ground-breaking lens.

  • Shooting in Soho with the Lomo'Instant Splitzer

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-04-17 in #gear #tipster
    Shooting in Soho with the Lomo'Instant Splitzer

    A recent lunchtime break turned into a big analogue adventure when I took the Lomo'Instant camera out with the Splitzer and captured a gloriously sunny day in the heart of Soho, London. I learned a couple of great tips about shooting with this new accessory. Read on to find out more.

  • Object of My Affection: Subbuteo

    written by sirio174 on 2015-03-30 in #world #lifestyle
    Object of My Affection: Subbuteo

    In my early adolescence, I liked to play table football. For my 12th birthday, my parents gifted me with a wonderful Subbuteo table soccer game set that I had wished for many months! This was my favorite toy until I discovered other interesting hobbies, like ham radio and electronics. So after some years, I gave away this game to other kids. I always remembered this game with pleasure and a hint of nostalgia.