DC -- Natl Postal Museum -- Exhibit (MIA Galleries 1): Moving the Mail:
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MOVING_110618_07.JPG: Owney the dog, mascot of the Railway Mail Service, is temporarily off display. He is getting a make-over and will return on July 27, 2011, just in time for the release of a stamp celebrating the world-traveling mutt. Until then, this life-size model is happy to pose for photos, but please don't touch.
MOVING_111119_04.JPG: "Owney acknowledges no master save about 100,000 United States postal clerks throughout the length and breadth of this land."
-- Washington Post, December 27, 1895
As a pup, Owney followed his owner to work at the post office in Albany, New York. When his master left that job, Owney stayed behind, following mailbags onto train cars. Soon he had thousands of friends among America's Railway Mail Service clerks. So many people added tags to Owney's collar that Postmaster General John Wanamaker had a harness made to help him carry the weight. After Owney died in 1897, his mail clerk friends raised money to preserve their mascot.
Mail clerks raised money for preserving their mascot and he was taken to the Post Office Department's headquarters in Washington, DC, where he was on placed on display for the public. In 1904 the Department added Owney to their display at the St. Louis, Missouri, World's Fair. In 1911, the department transferred Owney to the Smithsonian Institution. In 1926, the Institution allowed Owney to travel to the Post Office Department's exhibit at the Sesquicentennial exhibit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From 1964-1992, he was displayed at the Smithsonian museum now known as the National Museum of American History and in 1993 he moved to the new National Postal Museum, where he remains on display next to a fabricated Railway Post Office train car.
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Description of Subject Matter: Moving the Mail
July 30, 1993 – Permanent
Level 1: Mail in America Galleries
Faced with the challenge of moving the mail quickly, the postal service looked to trains, automobiles, airplanes, and buses to deliver the mail, all of which are the focus of the museum's 90-foot-high Atrium gallery.
* Mail by Rail: After the Civil War, postal officials began to take advantage of railway trains for moving and sorting the mail. Sorting the mail while it was being carried between towns was a revolutionary approach to mail delivery, involving generations of devoted postal employees who worked as railway mail clerks.
* Owney: Mascot of the Railway Mail Service Owney was a stray mutt who wandered into the Albany, New York, post office in 1888. He began to ride with the bags on trains across the state—and then the country. In 1895 Owney traveled with mailbags on steamships to Asia and across Europe before returning to Albany. He was beloved by Railway Mail Service clerks, who adopted him as their unofficial mascot.
* Networking a Nation: Star Route Service: Some of the most ambitious movers of the mail were not railway mail clerks, aviators, or even postal employees, but were Star Route contractors. Star Routes were established in 1845 when the Postal Service began hiring contractors to use the most appropriate and efficient methods of transportation to carry the mail. The name "Star Routes" came about because postal clerks became weary of writing "Celerity, Certainty, and Security" over and over again in the contract books and began using "***" instead. These routes have been covered by all modes of transportation from stagecoaches, trucks, and planes to less conventional means, such as dog sleds, showshoes, and bare feet. "Star Routes" were renamed "Highway Contract Routes" in 1970, but are still known by their original name today. On view are a 1850s Concord-style stagecoach and a full-size semi truck cab-cutaway.
* On the Road: Motorizing the Mail: This section dis ...More...
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2011 photos: Equipment this year: I mostly used the Fuji S100fs camera as well as two Nikon models -- the D90 and the new D7000. Mostly a toy, I also purchased a Fuji Real 3-D W3 camera, to try out 3-D photographs. I found it interesting although I don't see any real use for 3-D stills now. Given that many of the photos from the 1860s were in 3-D (including some of the more famous Civil War shots), it's odd to see it coming back.
Trips this year:
Civil War Trust conferences (Savannah, GA, Chattanooga, TN),
New Jersey over Memorial Day for my birthday (people never seem to visit New Jersey -- it's always just a pit stop on the way to New York. I thought I might as well spend a few days there. Despite some nice places, it still ended up a pit stop for me -- New York City was infinitely more interesting),
my 6th consecutive San Diego Comic-Con trip (including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco).
Ego strokes: Author photos that I took were used on two book jackets this year: Jason Emerson's book "The Dark Days of Abraham Lincoln's Widow As Revealed by Her Own Letters" and Dennis L. Noble's "The U.S. Coast Guard's War on Human Smuggling." I also had a photo of Jason Stelter published in the Washington Examiner and a picture of Miss DC, Ashley Boalch, published in the Washington Post.
Number of photos taken this year: just over 390,000.