EIU Teaching with Primary Sources

Constant Motion 
Header



Timeline

A look at some events that took place during the run of the Railway Post Office.  Images and links take you to information and resources on EIU TPS, Library of Congress,  National Postal Museum Railway Mail Service and other sites. 

1832

1838

1862

1864

1868

1869

1875

1889

Stage coach contractors awarded $400 per year to carry mail on railroads. Act of Congress declares all railroads postal routes. Postmaster General Blair  establishes the first Railway Post Office cars.

First mail sorted in converted baggage cars on Hannibal to St. Joseph, Missouri line.
First permanent U.S. Railway Post Office route established between Chicago and Clinton, Iowa. First recorded schemes show maps of states to help clerks learn mail distribution routes. The Ward mail bag catcher is first used creating
mail on the fly.
The first five car train is introduced and carries more than 33 tons of mail. The Railway Post Office becomes part of classified civil service requiring a competitive entrance exam.
view button view button view button view button view button view button view button view button

1912

1920

1941

1948

1956

1967

1974

1977

Steel RPO cars begin replacing dangerous wooden cars. 20.407 Railway Postal Clerks earn an average salary of $2,067 per year.

Newton bros. steal 3 million in cash and goods from Chicago, Milwaukee, St Paul train.
U.S. Post Office introduces the first Highway Post Office bus. Railway Mail Service is renamed the Postal Transportation Service. President Eisenhower signs the Federal Highway Act creating the interstate road system. U.S. Post Office terminates or reduces many railroad mail carrying contracts. Final run of Highway Post Office bus. The Railway Post Office makes its final run. The last RPO delivers the mail between Washington DC and New York.
view button view button view button view button view button view button view button view button


1920

20,407 Railway Postal Clerks earn an average salary of $2,067 per year.

The Newton Brothers steal 3 million in cash, jewelry and negotiable securities from the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul mail train.

 

Primary Sources

 

At this time...

Illinois Historical Events:

U.S. Historical Events:

U.S. Cultural Events:

World Events: