This month marks the 200th anniversary of the first US post office in Wisconsin.
Things were very different when the first post office opened near Green Bay in 1821. At the time, the mail would have traveled on horseback and stagecoach, said Chris Shaw, author of “First Class: The U.S. Postal Service, Democracy, and the Business Threat. “Motor vehicles became the primary method of delivering mail more than a century later, according to Postal service documents.
The post office also offers different services these days, Shaw said. Money orders and parcel delivery did not exist 200 years ago. And the postal service will continue to evolve, he said. Throughout the 1900s there were savings banks located in many post offices.
“It was a way to make banking services more accessible and available to Americans, and today there is millions of unbanked households, and there is a discussion about returning to basic banking functions, ”he said.
The postal service recently launched a pilot program where he collects payroll and business checks at multiple locations in other states. The agency is also preparing to deploy its next generation of postal trucks, which will be designed and manufactured. by Oshkosh Defense.
At the moment, the post office is working on hiring hundreds of rural mail carriers in Wisconsin. The agency is one of the largest civilian employers in the country, Shaw said. It’s important for national commerce and elections, and it supplies prescription drugs to millions of people, often in remote areas, he said.
Americans have helped shape the postal service over the years, Shaw said. While his first days, residents of Wisconsin should have gone to the post office to collect their mail, he said. But the Americans lobbied Congress for door-to-door delivery and subsequent parcel services.
“It’s always been a responsive service to what citizens want it to do, and it’s really something to think about in the future: what do we want the postal service to be in the future?” he said.
But while some things have changed since Wisconsin’s first post office opened near Green Bay, others have remained the same, Shaw said.
“A tension that has always existed – and this throughout history since the opening of the first in Wisconsin – is the fact that this is a public service, but it is also a public service. that generates income through postage, ”he said.
Some people want to privatize the postal service, but others argue that the areas that need it most, including rural areas, are also the least profitable for mail delivery. The Postal Service also continues to uphold its mission of keeping citizens informed, Shaw said.
“It was something that George Washington really thought was the key to the post office from the start, so he always delivered magazines, newspapers, periodicals, these news sources, at a very low postage rate. “, did he declare.
The Postal Service always offers a lower postal rate for news and information sources.