Add a Comment to this Note (list members only)
Dead medium: American Missile Mail
From: (Greg Riker)
Source(s): US Postal Service,

"Throughout its history, the Postal Service enthusiastically has explored faster, more efficient forms of mail transportation. Technologies now commonplace == railroads, automobiles, and airplanes == were embraced by the Post Office Department at their radical birth, when they were considered new-fangled, unworkable contraptions by many.

"One such technology, however, remains only a footnote in the history of mail delivery. On June 8, 1959, in a move a postal official heralded as 'of historic significance to the peoples of the entire world,' the Navy submarine U.S.S. Barbero fired a guided missile carrying 3,000 letters at the Naval Auxiliary Air Station in Mayport, Florida. 'Before man reaches the moon,' the official was quoted as saying, 'mail will be delivered within hours from New York to California, to Britain, to India or Australia by guided missiles.'

"History proved differently, but this experiment with missile mail exemplifies the pioneering spirit of the Post Office Department when it came to developing faster, better ways of moving the mail."

Greg Riker (