EIU Teaching with Primary Sources
Tools of the Trade
Railway Post Offices rolled over thousands of route miles every day with onboard clerks sorting, bundling and sometimes catching and delivering mail "on the fly" without ever slowing down. Accuracy mattered! Facing slips were attached to each bundle of letters that told the name of the sorting clerk. An error would result in demerits and a delay in delivery. RPO clerks took great pride in their jobs and performance.
Each RPO clerk carried a case holding both personal and work items. They packed a change of clothes for overnight trips and meals to be eaten on the train. Required supplies included items like facing slips and labels stamped at home with their name and train number for accountability, stamps, finger knife, badge, revolver and more.