In the past, the postal service system was a great way of ensuring packages were delivered at affordable prices and relatively quickly. However, at some point, people began sending the most unusual items like animals, coffins, eggs, and even people.
We'd like to share the strange things people managed to send through the postal system. Make sure you don't miss the bonus at the end.
1. Mary Pierstoff, the child mailed to visit her grandmother.
The most surprising use of the postal service occurred in 1914, when a 4-year-old girl named Mary was mailed to her grandmother from Grangeville to Lewiston in Idaho. The girls’ parents claimed that the postage was much cheaper than a train ticket.
Mary weighed around 48.5 lbs which was below the 50 lb weight limit, and since there were no restrictions about mailing people, they stamped and mailed her. A couple of years later, other stories came up of parents who occasionally sent their children via mail, thanks to the postal workers who let it slide.
2. The mailed Hope diamond that was worth $1 million.
The famous million-dollar Hope Diamond that was estimated to have 45.52 carats was sent via mail in a plain brown box when its owner and gem dealer, Harry Winston, passed away. He trusted the postal system enough to send it from New York City to the Museum of NaturalHistory.
The post cost him only $2.44, plus an added insurance cost of $142.85 for the million-dollar necklace. Luckily, the letter carrier who was responsible picked up the package, drove it themselves, and ensured that it got delivered to Leonard, who was the secretary at the Smithsonian Institution.
3. People would sneak fish through the post office.
A few other strange things that have been mailed are fish. Both living and dead fish have been sent via mail in the past.
4. A pet chameleon was sent to live elsewhere since the owner's home was too cold.
In December of 1954, David, a man from Fostoria, Ohio, sent a letter to a post master in Orlando, Florida. In the letter, he stated that he was sending his chameleon from Ohio since it was too cold for him and when it would arrive in Orlando it should be set free. He also asked that they let him know if the animal arrived safely and when it did, the post master sent him his best Christmas wishes.
5. A cat got sent through a pneumatic tube.
The pneumatic system was built in the 1800s to deliver mail across New York City at a faster pace. The systems were located 4 to 6ft below the city’s surface and women and men who handled the tubes were known as “rocketeers.” However, in 1897, some operators wanted to test the speed of the system.
They decided to place a live catinside one of the tubes and send it through. Luckily, it survived and they proved it was possible.