Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Post About Post Office

             In 1944, if I remember right, I’d hurry back to my dorm between classes to see what had arrived in the morning mail.  So there must have been an afternoon mail also – and this in wartime with the whole country mobilized, zero unemployment and a tremendous labor shortage.
An envelope like this one, with its triumphant FREE! Instead of a stamp, saved the just-drafted 18-year-old soldier three cents.  That’s not to be sneezed at, actually.  I had a part-time job, that year, for 43 cents an hour, minimum wage.  Figure it for yourself – the 3-cent stamp was a lot more expensive than today’s 45-cent stamp as a fraction of current minimum wages.
In 1944, of course, soldiers did not make minimum wage.  Maybe the figure had been raised by then, but at the start of the war I remember the words of a song about the Army that boasted “Twenty-One Dollars a Day! – Once a Month.”
Do today’s soldiers get to frank envelopes for free postage?  Or – never mind – do today’s soldiers even know what an envelope is?


  1. But, Edith: Whoever was that just-drafted soldier surnamed Monroe?? Inquiring minds want to know .

    And with today's news that the USPS will be cutting out Saturday delivery later this year, we can only dream about the time when there were two mail deliveries a day!

  2. Hank came to Syracuse at 16 so he could get in two years of college before he was drafted. Army trained him in counter-intelligence (spying) and taught him Japanese. Ended up at 19 as part of the American occupation of Japan. Arranged with the Army to bring me over there as a proxy-married wife -- but I became engaged to Norm instead.