EIU Teaching with Primary Sources

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Preparation, Schemes and Exams

Before Boarding a Train…Preparation, Schemes & Exams Railway Post Office (RPO) clerks were considered the elite of the mail service. RPO clerks were held to the highest level of accountability and took great pride in their work. This level of performance meant spending time off studying schemes to learn exact locations of thousands of towns, villages and connecting communities.

Entrance and regularly scheduled exams called for clerks to sort 100 cards by route and location in two to three minutes demanding 95% - 97% accuracy. Some clerks sorted 600+ pieces of mail per hour into pigeon holes on a speeding train. RPO clerks memorized the names and locations of 5,000 – 10,000 post offices; this was before zip codes were established in 1963.  Working in ever-changing roles, RPO clerks developed superior memorization and learning techniques and skills.

Mastering the intellectual facet of the job equipped RPO clerks for the physical demands on the train.


In their own words...

 Prep Scheme and Exam video logo

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Primary Sources

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 Railway Postal Clerk Project  Railway Postal Clerk Project  Railway Postal Clerk Project
Illinois Notice of
Rating Form
Michigan
Scheme Books 
     
 Railway Postal Clerk Project Railway Postal Clerk Project  Railway Postal Clerk Project 
Diagram Missouri
Study Map
Illinois
Study Map
     
 Railway Postal Clerks Project Railway Postal Clerk Project  Railway Postal Clerk Project 
Mississippi Practice
and Exam Cards
Mississippi, Michigan, Arkansas,
Alabama and Illinois Scheme
Chicago
Scheme Map
     
 Railway Postal Clerk Project  Railway Postal Clerk Project  Railway Postal Clerk Project
Case Examination
Record
Notice of
Scheme Exam
Illinois
Scheme Books
     
 Railway Postal Clerk Project  Railway Postal Clerk Project Railway Postal Clerks Project 
Tennessee
Study Map
Chicago
Study Map
Kentucky
Study Map
     
 Railway Postal Clerk Project Railway Postal Clerk Project
 
 Railway Postal Clerk Project
Schedule of
Mail Routes Chicago
Advertisement for
Railway Postal Clerks
Use and Care
of Revolvers
     
 Railway Postal Clerk Project Railway Postal Clerks Project
 Railway Postal Clerk Project
Application for
Position Change
Schedule
Booklet
Wisconsin
Study Map
     
Railway Postal Clerk Project Railway Postal Clerk Project Railway Postal Clerk Project
Illinois Pocket Map
& Shipper Guide
Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana
and Mississippi Scheme Books
Practice Case
and Card Set
     
Railway Postal Clerk Project Railway Postal Clerk Project Railway Postal Clerk Project
Louisiana Practice
Card Set
Chicago Practice
Card Set
RMS
     
Railway Postal Clerk Project Railway Postal Clerk Project Railway Postal Clerk Project
Schedule of
Exams Offered
Midwest Scheme
Books
Mississippi
Study Map