Mailed Some Packages

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

Wednesday, April 16, 1914: Went up to town this afternoon to mail some parcel post packages. Oh dear me, and it cost eleven cents. Called on a friend and quite a sociable chat. Went to a lecture this evening in Watsontown.

Old postcard, circa 1914

Old postcard, circa 1914

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

Seriously Grandma. . . You’re annoyed that it costs 11¢ to mail a package? . . .

Hmmm. . Now that I’m re-reading your diary entry, I almost think that you mailed several packages for 11¢. . . sound like a bargain to me.

A hundred years ago parcel post was the cool new thing. According to Wikipedia parcel post begin in the US in 1913.

You may also enjoy several previous posts that I did on parcel post:

Parcel Post Began in 1913

Getting Eggs and Butter in the Mail

37 Responses

  1. I wonder what the lecture was about! I can’t tell you how much seeing this blog has made me wish I could find something like that from a relative! You have such a treasure!

  2. Now parcel post is becoming a true thing of the past; via the Post Office anyway.

  3. Great postcard to match the entry. Fascinating, as always.

  4. Yes, indeed….I agree with Mended Wheels comment: Grandma’s diary is certainly a treasure. And we’re so happy that you’re sharing it with us!
    If only Grandma could see what it costs these days to mail a package…..

    • She’d probably be shocked how expensive it is to mail packages. (Sometimes I’m shocked by how much it costs to pay the postage to return an unwanted item that I ordered online.)

  5. Some history of first class stamp rates…

    http://www.prc.gov/(S(g532al30p52gnjnrc2bfk33n))/PRC-DOCS/aboutprc/offices/PAGR/stamphistory.pdf

    • Thanks for sharing the link. It’s interesting how the cost of mailing a letter went up to $.03 during World War I and then dropped back to $.02 after the war ended.

  6. Didn’t you also do that post on mailing children? Yeah 11 cents – wow have times changed! Look at this postal service time line I found on line! It seems a 2 cent stamp would get your letter where it needed to go. http://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exhibitions/cpm/chrono/chs1900e.shtml

    • Hmm, I don’t think that I ever did a post on mailing children, though I can remember seeing mention of it somewhere.

      Thanks for the link. It’s amazing how inexpensive it once was to mail letters.

  7. Really gives perspective on the change in cost of living in 100 years!

  8. I love the words from the past, where else can you hear ” Oh dear me, and it cost eleven cents. Called on a friend and quite a sociable chat.” Wonderful post again, thank you!

    • I’m glad you (and your friend) enjoyed it. I have a lot of fun doing this blog, and it’s always wonderful to hear when someone especially enjoys a post.

  9. Our Canada Post is ending home delivery of mail this year. This will be an unfortunate development for a lot of people. One hundred years ago, people saw a trip to the post office as a social networking venture, an opportunity to bump into neighbours and friends. My, how things change.

  10. What was the value of 11 cents in todays money?

  11. I would love it if I sent packages for 11 cents! I love that she said, ‘Oh dear me’. :)

  12. It is still fun to receive a package :)

  13. What was there before parcel post?

  14. Hi Sheryl … I have a collection of post cards from 1910 … The postage on those was 1 cent … I don’t wonder she was dismayed!!!! Jane

  15. I just mailed a parcel post package to my nieces. It contains two sets of Legos for Easter and it cost me $5.41 to mail. I think it is still a bargain!

  16. 11 cents would be about $2.50 today. Too bad only her sister got a hat! :)

  17. Wonder how much snail mail will cost 100 years from now!

    • Interesting thought. . . I suppose that amounts of money that seem relatively large to us now (for example, $100) will sound very small to people a hundred years from now.

  18. I guess it seemed pricey then but Canadian post is out of control. I wanted to send a parcel to New Zealand and the First Class Air was bananas. So I sent it ground post and it took 3 whole months, LOL. Good thing it wasn’t perishable

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