On June 30, 1977, trucks and airplanes replaced the railroad mail car as the main mover of United States mail. Movement of mail by train began in 1832 after businesses and members of the public complained mail delivery by horse or stagecoach was too slow.
Beginning in 1864 all mail in transit was beginning to be distributed by railroad mail cars. Assistant Postmaster William A. Davis in St. Joseph, Missouri is credited with creating the rolling post office to process and distribute United States mail.
As the train neared the station, the route agent would toss out the processed mail bag through the big open door of the mail car.
Then as the train left the station, the agent snatched the unprocessed mail bag hanging on a pole next to the track with a hook (catcher arm) extended from the rail car.
Along the route to the next station the agent sorted, processed and prepared a new mail bag to toss to the next station, grabbed the next mail bag on the route and did it all again.
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