MVS employee cap badge, number 124
U.S. Post Office Department Motor Vehicle Service (MVS) oval-style cap badge, number 124, with round pin attachment hole at each end. Black paint applied in incised "U. S. MAIL / CHAUFFEUR" and numerical figures.
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 establishment of the parcel post, the POD used automobiles primarily for distributing 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.
The badge shown here was designed by the New York Superintendent of the Garage during the early 1920s.