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Personal Equipment

Mailbag used by a rural letter carrier

Description:

The flap of the leather satchel embossed “U.S. Mail” can be secured closed with the buckle attached to the lower front. Both sides have a narrow strip of leather riveted near the rim for reinforcement. The satchel can be carried by the adjustable shoulder strap attached to two rectangular-shaped rings secured to the back.

This mailbag meets postal specification for the leather, over-the-shoulder type satchel issued to city delivery service letter carriers from the 1860s to 1973. However, this regulation mailbag was used by a rural free delivery service carrier around 1920. In contrast to their urban counterparts, rural carriers purchased all necessary equipment for their postal duties.

Date:
c. 1920
Markings:
Kelso, Washington presented to Vernon Meier July 1982 [Inscription in black pen on inside under top flap] ; Manufactured / by / GMA Allen, Inc. [stamped into leather along seam]
Medium:
leather; metal
Dimensions:
3.5 x 14 x 18 in. (8.89 x 35.56 x 45.72 cm)
Museum ID:
1986.0172.1
Place:
Washington

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