MVS employee chest badge, number 4852
U.S. Post Office Department Motor Vehicle Service (MVS) chest badge, number 4852, with vertical hinged pin and clasp on verso. Spread eagle surmounts circular medallion with upper portion marked "U.S. POST OFFCE"; lower portion inscribed "M.V.S." Medallion bears horse and rider at center, surrounded by "POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT UNITED STATES OF AMERICA." Numerical figures inscribed on skirt.
In an effort to standardize postal transportation, in 1914 Postmaster General Albert Burleson inaugurated the Motor Vehicle Service. Before then, the Post Office Department relied exclusively on private contracts to furnish automobiles for city delivery.
Before the Post Office Department launched parcel post service, it used automobiles primarily for distributing mail to and collecting from street- side mailboxes. By 1917, however, the service operated out of most large cities and used automobiles for many different tasks. Chicago, for instance, had 225 vehicles and 500 chauffeur-letter carriers by this time. The larger vehicles were used to transfer heavy parcels and usually required two men to operate; the smaller vehicles were driven by chauffer-letter carriers, who were required to operate the vehicle and act as letter carriers. These postal workers delivered parcels and letters, collected the mail, and transferred packages to nearby post offices and train stations.
This badge was worn by a MVS employee during the early 1920s.