Monday, December 24, 2012
This unidentified Middleborough letter carrier braves the snow to deliver mail about 1900. He wears the blue-gray double-breasted winter overcoat which was authorized by U. S. Postal Laws and Regulations in 1893 (though he appears to be missing a button as well as the badge from his woolen cap). Underneath, he wears a heavy sweater to protect him from the cold. Secured to his top overcoat button is a long chain on the end of which was most assuredly a whistle. Not until about 1912 were urban customers required to provide a mail slot or mailbox for delivery. Consequently, early letter carriers were required to knock and wait at doors, or whistle, a circumstance which delayed them considerably on their rounds. The leather postal satchel is filled, requiring the carrier to secure letters outside the bag with a leather strap. At a time when most residents knew their letter carrier by name, one thoughtful homeowner seems to have provided the intrepid mailman with a bit of cake according to the caption he wrote in the margin of the card.
Real Photo Postcard, c. 1900.
Included in a collection of other images of Middleborough, the post card is believed to depict a Middleborough letter carrier, though he remains unidentified.