When we were growing up in the 1940s and well into the 1950s, aside from one on one in person conversations, the U.S. Mail was the main means of both business & personal communications.
People personally communicated on a regular basis with their friends and relatives across town, across the country and in other countries by exchanging handwritten personal letters. Bills were sent and paid almost exclusively by mail as was most other business correspondence and communications.
When I was on the road for a couple of weeks at a time in the fall of 1959, I wrote to Pat every night. I did the same when I was away from her for 15 weeks in early 1960 at Air Force training at Gunter AFB in Alabama. I remember anxiously going to the base post office every noon hour to get Pat’s return mail which I read and re-read until her next letter arrived. When I went on a six week sales trip to Europe in 1967, I resumed the practice of writing to Pat nightly since transoceanic phone charges were atrocious .
In the 40s and 50s, many teenagers communicated on a regular basis by mail with other teens who they had never personally met in distant places and who they called their “pen pals”. In many cased these “pen pals” became life long friends while some actually fell in love, via the mails, eventually met and on occasion married.
Did you ever have a “pen pal”?
Use the comment form below to tell us about them!
The US Mail was not only a frequently utilized form of communication,when we were growing up, it was also very inexpensive and very reliable. A 3 cent stamp carried a letter to anywhere in the U.S. while you could mail a postcard for a penny. The so-called “penny postcard” would be delivered to any address in the U.S. for just that – one cent. An art form developed in which people wrote very small and used numerous abbreviations and symbols to fit their message on a postcard because of the low cost of sending a postcard. If speed was a necessity, a letter could be sent via air mail for a mere 6 cents.
“Through Rain, Sleet or Snow, The Mail Must Go Through”
was the U.S.Post Office’s credo and it did so reliably and at a low cost.
August 23, 2016
Based on the joint recollections of Pat & Frank Fleming
Recorded by Frank Fleming and posted
In Loving Memory Of
1936 – 2015