Arago: Exhibits


Shop From Home

With Parcel Post Service underway, letter carriers began to deliver all sorts of things in the mail. An industry quickly arose to offer farmers convenient packing boxes for their produce. These boxes were made especially for particular products - eggs, butter, or vegetables - or a combination of items.

A "farm-to-table" postal program enabled farmers to sell and ship directly to city dwellers via Parcel Post, bypassing delivery agents. Postmasters invited farmers to provide their names, addresses, and available produce. These lists were placed in city post office lobbies and newspaper advertisements. The US Department of Agriculture “Farmer's Bulletin” showed farmers how to arrange and pack produce to make it appealing to buyers. But farmers did not always pack their produce properly, and customers did not always pay promptly, and the farm-to-table program faded out of existence.

Four-dozen egg crate

Mail order egg containers were available in a number of sizes and were frequently found in parcel mail sacks

Butter box

This clever container allowed butter to be sent by parcel post. A metal container containing the butter is held tightly within the wooden exterior box.

Queen honeybee cage

Beekeepers found parcel service a good way to send or purchase queen bees.

Hanson postal scale

Parcel Post Service offered patrons a national, standardized rate structure for mailing goods.