Planning a trip? Have you considered travelling by post?

The post office transports mail on trucks, cars, boats, ferries, planes, helicopters, bicycles, feet and even mules. But, in 1914, when some of these methods were yet to exist, it was the mail compartment on a train that helped accomplish this money saving family’s ingenious plan.


Sending packages via the U.S. Parcel Post Service began on January 1, 1913 with regulations stating only that packages could not weigh more than 50 pounds. So, when 5-year-old Charlotte May Pierstorff asked to visit her grandmother in the Idaho mountains and a train ticket would have cost her parents a full days pay…

…they mailed her!

Cleverly noticing that there were no parcel post regulations specifically concerning sending a person through the system, it was on February 19 1914, that the postmaster at Grangeville Post Office, Idaho found the “package” to weigh 48 and a half pounds and with some creative application of the postal code, May was sent by parcel post with 53 cents in stamps pinned to her coat.

May travelled the entire 75 miles to Lewiston in the train’s mail compartment, kept safe under the watchful eye of a family member who worked on the train and was delivered to her grandmother’s home by the mail clerk on duty, Leonard Mochel.

Word of Mays excursion quickly prompted the Postmaster General to issue a regulation against sending any human being by mail.

Good thing he did, as the new, modern electronic sorting system might have struggled with scanning even the smallest child and unless the average parcel these days is entitled to a cushioned window seat with full use of the refreshments carriage, could make for a very uncomfortable ride!

Do you have something strange to mail? We are the mailing experts, talk to us today on 08 9493 0477 or email