They Used To Mail Children
A photo from the era, poking fun at child deliveries
The parcel post system in the United States began in 1913, and almost immediately people began testing the bounds of what “packages” could be sent. In mid-January that year, Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Beauge of Glen Este, Ohio realized it would be cheaper to send their son to visit his grandmother via parcel post than buying a standard rail ticket. They paid 15 cents in stamps, and “insured” him for $50. The Postmaster quickly outlawed the practice, but people kept skirting the rules, including sending a 14-pound baby to grandma (a popular destination for children, it seems). After a peak in 1915, they were finally able to put the kibosh on mailing kids.