Getting Eggs and Butter in the Mail

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:

Wednesday, March 25, 1914:  Nothing to write.

Source: Milton Evening Standard (March 31, 1914)

Source: Milton Evening Standard (March 31, 1914)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’ll share an article from a central Pennsylvania newspaper, the Milton Evening Standard.

The nation was moving rapidly into the modern era—people could order butter, eggs and other farm produce directly from farmers, and the US Postal Service would deliver it a few days later.

I can’t imagine getting my groceries in the mail today. Wonder what happened. . .

34 Responses

  1. Eggs in the mail. Now that sounds like it could be quite the delivery!

  2. Grocery delivery is not too common now, but I expect it to increase over the next few years as Amazon rolls out more distribution centers. I don’t know if we will see much in the way of perishable goods, but definitely shelf stable products.

  3. Can’t imagine how they kept things from spoiling or breaking back then – but the idea is great. Today we do have Omaha Steaks, Hickory Farms, etc. but NOT eggs!

  4. Can’t imagine getting my groceries in the mail but I’d be willing to give it a try. Wonder if there is an article saying it didn’t work out. I see Atlanta is mentioned.

    • I’ll probably never find time, but it would be interesting to research this and figure out when (and why) they quit delivering eggs and other farm produce via parcel post.

  5. ‘the rural carrier will make daily collections’ sounds like there might be some unhappy carriers. That could be a lot of extra work.

    I have a fuzzy memory of Mom getting baby chicks delivered by mail.

    • It does like like it would make a lot of extra work. Maybe it was seen as jobs for carriers.

      I also can vaguely remember that people got baby chicks delivered by mail years ago. Somehow that seems like it would have been really stressful on the birds.

  6. That does seem a bit odd…

  7. It makes sense to me. The time to deliver in the mail is less than the distribution now, especially after the food sits on the grocery store shelves. And unless the law has changed recently (which wouldn’t surprise me) you can send anything by mail without packaging. I didn’t know that until I read about it when the kids were little and we tried it, mailing stuff to my father, I think.

  8. They were already struggling with the middleman in those days! Now days the farmer is overwhelmed with seed prices and the final consumer struggles to afford healthy eating and the middle man sits pretty. Ugh!

    Never knew they moved produce by mail but am old enough to remember the milk man!

  9. I remember the milk man, and my grandfather selling eggs from the basket he carried to our house and others. My mother got out a bowl to store them in. But by mail? Hmm. I can imagine the “Fragile” sticker on the eggs …

    • I can vaguely remember my maternal grandfather talking about how he used to go into town, and go door-to-door selling eggs and cut flowers when he was a child.

  10. Just to let my readers know. I’m having a hard time with a health issue right now and now I can post nothing on my blog nor can I get any help from WordPress with whatever the problem is. So please pray for me that these issues will be resolved soon. Blessings to all, Natalie :)

  11. Now we deliver the chickens. Yikes!

  12. I didn’t know they did that!

  13. All I can imagine is broken eggs! Reminds me of local farmers here who deliver produce weekly to program subscribers … This is more popular as people realize that eating local makes sense. jane

  14. They would have to wrap the eggs carefully! :)

  15. I have this vision of Jim Carey kicking that parcel down the street and juggling it like in Ace Ventura, Pet Detective. Have you seen that? Its really cute.

    Yah I wonder if they did that for any length of time. I guess if most people didn’t have a car, it would have been handy.

  16. […] Getting Eggs and Butter in the Mail […]

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