Monday, June 09, 2008

Missile Mail

This week marks the 49th anniversary of first and last time the U.S. Postal Service attempted ‘Missile Mail’.

On June 8,1959, 3,000 letters were sent via missile mail from the USS Barbaro Navy submarine to Mayport, Florida. A letter from President Dwight D. Eisenhower was included in the mail that made the 1,000-mile trip.

According to researchers at the findingDulcinea website, "Postmaster General Arthur E. Summerfield, who witnessed the event, considered missile mail the future. He told The New York Times, 'Before man reaches the moon, mail will be delivered within hours from New York to California, to Britain, to India or Australia by guided missiles.'”

Although missile mail was a U.S. innovation, it was preceded by a 1931 Austrian version known as rocket mail, with which engineer Friedrich Schmiedl successfully fired 100 pieces of mail from one Austrian village to another.

For more on the missle mail experiment, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM