Arago: Human Powered

Human Powered

U.S. mail city container cart


Postal employees have used a variety of hand carts to move mail within post offices, sorting centers, and along mail delivery routes. Employees of the post office at Silsbee, Texas, used this four-wheeled cart to transport mail to a carrier relay box. Since additional mail is processed in the post office while carriers cover their routes, it becomes necessary to make that mail accessible to carriers throughout the day. The recently-processed mail is deposited at the relay box, where the carrier retrieves it.

The privacy and security of the mail have been a consistent responsibility of postal employees. A sign atop the cart warns potential thieves, reminding them that tampering with or stealing the mail remains a serious offence, punishable by a fine or imprisonment.

The cart's two large wheels are labeled ‘US MAIL’, and American eagle decals dating from the 1970s trim both sides of the cart. Roths Industries, Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of tractors and tractor parts located in Alma, Michigan, manufactured the cart. The postmaster and employees of the Silsbee, Texas, post office donated it to the National Postal Museum in 2002.

Decals: Figurative: Sonic Eagle Decals: U. S. MAIL U.S. MAIL (believed to be on the top of the cart lid) U.S. MAIL (on each back rear wheel) Metal Tag inside cart: Container Cart / P.O.D. P.O. No 8-1- 4129 / Month / Year / January / 1958 / Manufactured By / Roths Industries Inc / Alma Michigan / Serial Number 270 Sign on top of the cart: A Fine of $1000 or Three / Years Imprisonment for / Tampering with this cart / or it's contents
metal; rubber; paper; adhesive
Height x Width x Depth: 33 x 24 x 39 in. (83.82 x 60.96 x 99.06 cm) Other (Back wheel): 50.8cm (20in.) Other (Front wheel): 25.4cm (10in.) Other (Handle): 53.3cm (21in.) Height x Width x Depth (Crate Dimensions): 47 x 50 x 35 in. (119.38 x 127 x 88.9 cm)
Museum ID:
Silsbee, Texas

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