Teaching Constant Motion: The Job of Railway Post Office Clerks with Primary Sources

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Teaching Constant Motion: The Job of Railway Post Office Clerks with Primary Sources NEW
Teaching Resource Sections: History of the RPO Love this Job
      Prep, Schemes & Exams  Tools of the Trade Lingo
      Camaraderie & Good Times Final Run Timeline
      LOC Resources Printable PDF booklet.  


teach rpoThe Railway Post Office transported the mail for over 140 years starting out by just carrying the mail and evolving into a working post office with clerks who would sort the mail as the train moved down the track. It is a time that is long gone but has a rich history for students to discover. In those 140 years many events happened. America moved into each decade with new inventions, important events, new music and new technologies. In this activity, students will study a timeline of RPO history and will add pop culture and other items.



Objectives: After completing this activity, students will be able to:


  • Examine a document as a primary source.

  • Practice the process of historical inquiry.

  • Determine different time periods through primary sources.


The Ideas and Tools:

Students will examine the timeline items and place them in correct order on the timeline. They will research the time period and add new findings to the timeline. Students can research how the mail was moved after 1977.

  • Divide the timeline into sections, RPO Items and Pop Culture items. Research other areas such as science and technology, sports and the arts to add items to the timeline.

  • Do a family history, ask family members what important events happened to them during the timeline.

The RPO Timeline is available online or in PDF.