Satchel delivery cart
This satchel delivery cart is typical of the carts used by U.S. Postal Service letter carriers in the late twentieth century. The four-wheeled cart has a collapsible handle and front wheel brakes; and, the dark blue fabric mailbag is attached to the cart frame. This cart was recovered from the Church Street post office in New York City, New York. The Church Street post office was the post office responsible for collecting, delivering, and processing mail from the World Trade Center (WTC) buildings.
Letter carrier Robin Correta used this satchel delivery cart for her daily rounds. Coretta was assigned to Route 32 in World Trade Center building 6. The cart includes the marking 6 WTC on the right rear wheel. It was built by the Peco Manufacturing Company of Portland, Oregon. National Postal Museum staff selected this cart and a number of other items in the Church Street post office for collection in early October 2001, just weeks after the September 11, 2001 attack. The selected items were either relevant to the day of the attack or to the post office’s work in serving its community, such as the satchel delivery cart.
The Church Street Post Office is located at the corner of Church and Vesey Streets. It faced World Trade Center building number 7 to the west and buildings 5 and 6 of the complex to the south-southwest. Building number 7 collapsed the afternoon of September 11. Building numbers 5 and 6 sustained critical damage and were later demolished. The Church Street Post Office sustained significant damage from the debris of the fallen buildings and the force of the explosion. Firefighters fought the fires in nearby World Trade Center buildings from the post office, adding water damage to the building's interior. The post office remained structurally intact, although many of its windows were either blown out or shattered and debris was scattered atop and throughout the building. The damage was compounded by water and other wreckage resulting from the day-long fight by firefighters to contain fires in nearby World Trade Center buildings.
On the morning of September 11, Church Street postal employees were busy at work inside their building. The first hours of a letter carrier’s day are spent 'casing' or organizing the day’s mail deliveries. The World Trade Center carriers typically began their rounds inside the Center's buildings at 10:00 a.m. When the airplanes struck, the postal employees were still at work inside the post office. No one in the Church Street building was hurt that morning because the building had been successfully evacuated by the time the south tower (building number 2) collapsed.
Correta was one of ten letter carriers whose daily rounds were the corridors of the World Trade Center complex. The day after the attack, she and the other carriers were re-assigned to the Farley Post Office building on 33rd Street, four miles north. They built a functioning version of their old office on the ground floor of the Farley building. Mail continued to arrive for addresses in the WTC. Coretta and the other carriers spent several weeks sorting the mail into bins.