Saturday, July 03, 2010

Harbor Mail Boat Service

The National Postal Museum says in an article about New York's Harbor Mail Boat Service on their website, "At the turn of the century the harbor of New York bustled with docking ocean liners, but the majority of these steamers didn't have any foreign mail aboard when they tied up. It had been offloaded miles away and hours before. Beginning in 1897, incoming liners were met at the Quarantine Station in New York Bay, where they were detained for health inspection. There, while health officials examined the passengers and crew, the steamships were relieved of the mail."

According to the article, "The foreign mail, which had been sorted and sacked on the high seas for distribution in the United States, was literally dumped into the hold of a special mail vessel. Then it was hastily shipped to shore where it was forwarded directly to the city post office, loaded aboard waiting railway mail cars, or transferred to other steamships. This novel service was established on July 1, 1897."

The Harbor Boat Service was terminated on April 15, 1937.

Shown above, an illustration of clerks moving mail in cargo hold

To to read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM