OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated d/b/a OCLC is an American nonprofit cooperative organization "dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs". It was founded in 1967 as the Ohio College Library Center. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the largest online public access catalog in the world. OCLC is funded by the fees that libraries have to pay for its services. OCLC maintains the Dewey Decimal Classification system. OCLC began in 1967, as the Ohio College Library Center, through a collaboration of university presidents, vice presidents, library directors who wanted to create a cooperative computerized network for libraries in the state of Ohio; the group first met on July 5, 1967 on the campus of the Ohio State University to sign the articles of incorporation for the nonprofit organization, hired Frederick G. Kilgour, a former Yale University medical school librarian, to design the shared cataloging system.
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A catcher pouch was a mail bag used by Railway Post Offices of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. Its use was limited to exchanges onto moving trains; the specially constructed catcher pouch was grabbed by the catcher mechanism in the passing railway car and the catcher pouch would release from the holding rings on the mail crane. This technique was known as "mail on the fly". Starting in the 1870s the use of this technique of the Railway Mail Service was an important issue in the United States, it was the backbone of the United States Postal Service through the 1930s. When the mail clerk of the Railway Post Office car grabbed the catcher pouch on the mail crane he would at the same time kick out the outgoing mail for delivery to that village; the idea behind the catcher pouch was that there could be an exchange of mail to villages too small to justify the train stopping. The complete transfer technique required much skill and could cause harm or death for those not trained properly.
Another reason why the catcher pouch and mail crane were developed is so the train did not have to slow down just for the exchange of mail. The mail on-the-fly was not a smooth operating technique. One problem with the technique was that the postal clerk had to pay close attention when he raised the train's catcher arm. If it was raised too early there was a chance of hitting and destroying switch targets, telegraph poles, railway semaphore signals, as well as the train's mail catcher arm. If the clerk was too late in raising the train's catcher arm, he might miss the catcher pouch altogether. In the United Kingdom as early as 1855 an apparatus for snatching mailbags on-the-fly and delivering mail without stopping a train was in use at Slough, England, it continued in service until 1939. Catcher pouches could not be used for any other purpose; the catcher pouch was to be used only for letters. The maximum weight of a filled catcher pouch was to be 50 pounds; the catcher pouch was to be locked and placed upside down on the mail crane no sooner than 10 minutes before the scheduled arrival of the Mail Train.
The catcher pouch was to be tied in the middle. If a small amount of mail, it should be put in the lower half below the tie strap. If a large amount of mail, it should be divided between the upper half and the lower half of the catcher pouch; the catcher pouch is a specialized form of sack made of an extra tough canvas material and had metal rings on each end so they could attach to the arm of a railway mail bag crane. The body of the pouch was strengthened by leather bindings both at bottom. A Registered Mail pouch came with a leather bottom and had a special postal lock to secure the contents. A leather strap was secured around the center of the canvas body of the catcher pouch when it was readied to be snatched by a passing train's mail hook. Melius, Louis; the American postal service: history of the postal service from the earliest times. The American system described with full details of operation. Washington, D. C.: National Capital Press. Retrieved August 15, 2012 – via Internet Archive. Romanski, Fred J..
"The Fast Mail: A History of the U. S. Railway Mail Service". Prologue Magazine. Washington, DC: Library of Congress. 37: 1–6. Bergman, Edwin B. 29 Years to Oblivion, The Last Years of Railway Mail Service in the United States, Mobile Post Office Society, Nebraska. Crissy, Forrest. "The Traveling Post-Office". The World's Work: A History of Our Time. V: 2873–2880. Retrieved 2009-07-10. Culbreth, Ken; the railway mail clerk and the highway post office: when the mail worked: the story of the postal service's elite. Victoria, B. C. Canada: Trafford Publishing. ISBN 9781412202275. Cushing, Marshall; the Story of Our Post Office: The Greatest Government Department in all its Phases. Boston, Massachusetts: A. M. Thayer & Co – via Internet Archive. Long, Bryant Alden. Mail by Rail. New York: Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation. National Postal Transport Association. Mail in Motion, Railway Mail Service Library, Virginia. Portion available as a video clip at http://www.railwaymailservicelibrary.org/videos/MIM-01. MPG Romanski, Fred J.
The Fast Mail, History of the Railway Mail Service, Prologue Vol. 37 No. 3, Fall 2005, College Park, Maryland. Pennypacker, Bert The Evolution of Railway Mail, National Railway Bulletin Vol. 60 No. 2, 1995, Philadelphia. Towle, Charles L.. "Railroad Postmarks of the U. S.], 1861-1886". Retrieved August 21, 2012. U. S. Post Office Department. Men and Mail in Transit, Railway Mail Service Library, Virginia. Portion available as a video clip at http://www.railwaymailservicelibrary.org/videos/m&mit01. MPG Wilking, Clarence R.. The Railway Mail Service United States Mail Railway Post Office. Marietta, OH, Virginia: Railway Mail Service Library. Mail on-the-fly 1903 video from Library of Congress At the Smithsonian National Postal Museum: Catcher pouch history Further history on the catcher pouch and mail-on-the-Fly
United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for providing postal service in the United States, including its insular areas and associated states. It is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution; the U. S. Mail traces its roots to 1775 during the Second Continental Congress, when Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general; the Post Office Department was created in 1792 from Franklin's operation. It was elevated to a cabinet-level department in 1872, was transformed by the Postal Reorganization Act in 1970 into the USPS as an independent agency; the USPS as of 2017 has 644,124 active employees and operated 211,264 vehicles in 2014. The USPS is the operator of the largest civilian vehicle fleet in the world; the USPS is obligated to serve all Americans, regardless of geography, at uniform price and quality. The USPS has exclusive access to letter boxes marked "U.
S. Mail" and personal letterboxes in the United States, but now has to compete against private package delivery services, such as United Parcel Service and FedEx. Since the early 1980s, many of the direct tax subsidies to the Post Office, with the exception of subsidies for costs associated with the disabled and overseas voters, have been reduced or eliminated in favor of indirect subsidies, in addition to the advantages associated with a government-enforced monopoly on the delivery of first-class mail. Since the 2006 all-time peak mail volume, after which Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act which mandated that $5.5 billion per year be paid to prefund employee retirement health benefits, revenue dropped due to recession-influenced declining mail volume, prompting the postal service to look to other sources of revenue while cutting costs to reduce its budget deficit. In the early years of the North American colonies, many attempts were made to initiate a postal service.
These early attempts were of small scale and involved a colony, Massachusetts Bay Colony for example, setting up a location in Boston where one could post a letter back home to England. Other attempts focused on a dedicated postal service between two of the larger colonies, such as Massachusetts and Virginia, but the available services remained limited in scope and disjointed for many years. For example, informal independently-run postal routes operated in Boston as early as 1639, with a Boston to New York City service starting in 1672. A central postal organization came to the colonies in 1691, when Thomas Neale received a 21-year grant from the British Crown for a North American Postal Service. On February 17, 1691, a grant of letters patent from the joint sovereigns, William III and Mary II, empowered him: to erect and establish within the chief parts of their majesties' colonies and plantations in America, an office or offices for receiving and dispatching letters and pacquets, to receive and deliver the same under such rates and sums of money as the planters shall agree to give, to hold and enjoy the same for the term of twenty-one years.
The patent included the exclusive right to establish and collect a formal postal tax on official documents of all kinds. The tax was repealed a year later. Neale appointed Governor of New Jersey, as his deputy postmaster; the first postal service in America commenced in February 1692. Rates of postage were fixed and authorized, measures were taken to establish a post office in each town in Virginia. Massachusetts and the other colonies soon passed postal laws, a imperfect post office system was established. Neale's patent expired in 1710; the chief office was established in New York City, where letters were conveyed by regular packets across the Atlantic. Before the Revolution, there was only a trickle of business or governmental correspondence between the colonies. Most of the mail went forth to counting houses and government offices in London; the revolution made Philadelphia, the seat of the Continental Congress, the information hub of the new nation. News, new laws, political intelligence, military orders circulated with a new urgency, a postal system was necessary.
Journalists took the lead, securing post office legislation that allowed them to reach their subscribers at low cost, to exchange news from newspapers between the thirteen states. Overthrowing the London-oriented imperial postal service in 1774–1775, printers enlisted merchants and the new political leadership, created a new postal system; the United States Post Office was created on July 26, 1775, by decree of the Second Continental Congress. Benjamin Franklin headed it briefly. Before the Revolution, individuals like Benjamin Franklin and William Goddard were the colonial postmasters who managed the mails and were the general architects of a postal system that started out as an alternative to the Crown Post; the official post office was created in 1792 as the Post Office Department. It was based on the Constitutional authority empowering Congress "To establish post offices and post roads"; the 1792 law provided for a expanded postal network, served editors by charging newspapers an low rate.
The law guaranteed the sanctity of personal correspondence, provided the entire country with low-cost access to information on public affairs, while establishing a right to personal privacy. Rufus Easton was appointed by Thomas Jefferson first postmaster of St. Louis under the recommendation of Postmaster General Gideon Granger. Rufus Easton was the first postmaster and built the first post office west o
Railway Mail Service
The United States Postal Service's Railway Mail Service was a significant mail transportation service in the US from the mid-19th century until the mid-20th century. The RMS, or its successor the Postal Transportation Service, carried the vast majority of letters and packages mailed in the United States from the 1890s until the 1960s. George B. Armstrong, manager of the Chicago Post Office, is credited with being the founder of the concept of en route mail sorting aboard trains which became the Railway Mail Service. Mail had been carried in locked pouches aboard trains prior to Armstrong's involvement with the system, but there had been no organized system of sorting mail en route, to have mail prepared for delivery when the mail pouches reached their destination city. In response to Armstrong's request to experiment with the concept, the first railway post office began operating on the Chicago and North Western Railway between Chicago and Clinton, Iowa, on August 28, 1864; the concept was successful, was expanded to other railroads operating from Chicago, including the Chicago and Quincy, Chicago and Rock Island and the Erie.
By 1869 when the Railway Mail Service was inaugurated, the system had expanded to all of the major railroads of the United States, the country was divided into six operating divisions. A superintendent was over each division, all under the direction of George B. Armstrong, summoned from Chicago to Washington, D. C. to become general superintendent of the postal railway service. Armstrong served only two years as general superintendent before resigning because of failing health, he died in Chicago on May 1871, two days after his resignation. Armstrong's successor in Chicago, George Bangs, was appointed as the second general superintendent of the postal railway service. Bangs encouraged the use of fast mail trains, trains made up of mail cars, traveling on expedited schedules designed to accommodate the needs of the Post Office rather than the needs of the traveling public. In 1890, 5,800 postal railway clerks provided service over 154,800 miles of railroad. By 1907, over 14,000 clerks were providing service over 203,000 miles of railroad.
When the post office began handling parcel post in 1913, terminal Railway Post Office operations were established in major cities by the RMS to handle the large increase in mail volume. The Railway Mail Service reached its peak in the 1920s began a gradual decline with the discontinuance of RPO service on branchlines and secondary routes. After 1942, Highway Post Office service was utilized to continue en route sorting after discontinuance of some railway post office operations; as highway mail transportation became more prevalent, the Railway Mail Service was redesignated as the Postal Transportation Service. Abandonment of routes accelerated in the late 1950s and early 1960s, many of the remaining lines were discontinued in 1967. On June 30, 1974, the Cleveland and Cincinnati highway post office, the last HPO route, was discontinued; the last railway post office operated between New York and Washington, D. C. on June 30, 1977. A large bust and monument to Armstrong is displayed in the north side of Chicago's Loop Station Post Office.
A restored RPO car is displayed as part of the Pioneer Zephyr at the Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. The restored 1927 AT&SF Railway #74 RPO car is displayed at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum in Campo, CA. First Division: Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts. Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts. Second Division: New York, New Jersey. Headquarters: New York City. Third Division: District of Columbia, West Virginia, North Carolina. Headquarters: Washington, D. C. Fourth Division: Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida. Headquarters: Atlanta. Fifth Division: Kentucky, Ohio. Headquarters: Cincinnati. Sixth Division: Illinois, Iowa. Headquarters: Chicago. Seventh Division: Missouri, Kansas. Headquarters: St. Louis, Missouri. Eighth Division: California, Utah, Arizona. Headquarters: San Francisco. Ninth Division: Michigan lines of New York Central Railroad between New York City and Chicago. Headquarters: Cleveland. Tenth Division: North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan peninsula.
Headquarters: St. Paul, Minnesota. Eleventh Division: New Mexico, Oklahoma. Headquarters: Fort Worth. Twelfth Division: Arkansas, Mississippi. Headquarters: New Orleans. Thirteenth Division: Montana, Oregon, Washington. Headquarters: Seattle. Fourteenth Division: Colorado, Nebraska. Headquarters: Omaha. Fifteenth Division: Pennsylvania, Delaware lines of Pennsylvania Railroad west of Pittsburgh. Headquarters: Pittsburgh. Owney, railway service mascot Railway Mail Service Library Washington Park and Zoo Railway Mobile Post Office Society History of the United States Postal Service 1775-1993: Railway Mail Service National Postal Museum - Railway Post Office Bergman, Edwin B. 29 Years to Oblivion, The Last Years of Railway Mail Service in the United States, Mobile Post Office Society, Nebraska. Wilking, Clarence; the Railway Mail Service, Railway Mail Service Library, Virginia. Available as an MS Word file at http://www.railwaymailservicelibrary.org/articles/THE_RMS. DOC U. S. Post Office Department. MEN AND MAIL IN TRANSIT, Railway Mail Service Library, Virginia.
Portion available as a video clip at http://www.railwaymailservicelibrary.org/videos/m&mit01. MPG National Postal Transport Association. MAIL IN MOTION, Railway Mail Service Library, Virginia. Portion available as a video clip at http://www.railwaymailservicelibrary.org/videos/MI
United States Postal Savings System
The United States Postal Savings System was a postal savings system signed into law by President William Howard Taft and operated by the United States Post Office Department, predecessor of the United States Postal Service, from January 1, 1911 until July 1, 1967. The system paid depositors 2 percent annual interest. Depositors in the system were limited to hold a balance of $500, but this was raised to $1,000 in 1916 and to $2,500 in 1918. At its peak in 1947, the system held $3.4 billion in deposits. The system had a natural advantage over deposit-taking private banks because the deposits were always backed by "the full faith and credit of the United States Government." However, because the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation gave the same guarantee to depositors in private banks, the Postal Savings System lost its natural advantage in trust. From 1921, depositors were fingerprinted; this was initially'not to be associated with criminology' but in some instances the Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar radio show in the early 1950s suggests Postal Savings account fingerprints were used for positive identification in criminal cases.
On March 26, 1911, the locations of the central depositories for the first 19 states were established, followed the next day by 25 others. The post offices were selected by merit rather than geography, based on those with the best efficiency record in the state. Bessemer, Alabama Globe, Arizona Stuttgart, Arkansas Oroville, California Leadville, Colorado Ansonia, Connecticut Dover, Delaware Brunswick, Georgia Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Pekin, Illinois Princeton, Indiana Decorah, Iowa Pittsburg, Kansas Middlesboro, Kentucky New Iberia, Louisiana Rumford, Maine Frostburg, Maryland Norwood, Massachusetts Houghton, Michigan Anaconda, Montana Nebraska City, Nebraska Carson City, Nevada Berlin, New Hampshire Rutherford, New Jersey Raton, New Mexico Cohoes, New York Salisbury, North Carolina Wahpeton, North Dakota Ashtabula, Ohio Guymon, Oklahoma Klamath Falls, Oregon Dubois, Pennsylvania Bristol, Rhode Island Newberry, South Carolina Deadwood, South Dakota Johnson City, Tennessee Port Arthur, Texas Provo, Utah Montpelier, Vermont Clifton Forge, Virginia Olympia, Washington Grafton, West Virginia Manitowoc, Wisconsin Laramie, Wyoming Postal Savings System Act of June 25, 1910, P.
L. 61-268. S.", by H. L. Wiley, "Mekeel's Weekly Stamp News", May 2, 1914, p1 "Postal Savings Depositors All to Be'Fingerprinted'", "The New York Times", December 10, 1921
Express mail in the United States
The United States Postal Service provides Priority Mail Express for domestic U. S. delivery, offers two international Express Mail services, although only one of them is part of the EMS standard. One is called Priority Mail Express International and the other service is called Global Express Guaranteed; the latter having no relation whatsoever to "EMS" International service as provided by the EMS Cooperative. The USPS Global Express Guaranteed, by which USPS offices act as drop locations for international packages which are handled by FedEx international delivery network. In some countries, import rules for packages received by courier services have different tax brackets and duties than parcels received on the postal system, thus EMS service is preferred over FedEx's co-branded Global Express Guaranteed; the term Priority Mail Express International is confused with their domestic service called Priority Mail Express, a specific classification of mail for domestic accelerated postal delivery within the U.
S. In 2013, the USPS changed the name of the service from "Express Mail International" to "Priority Mail Express International"; this may lead to confusion, as "Priority Mail" is still used, the packaging is similar. Special Delivery, a domestic accelerated local delivery service, was introduced on 3 March 1885 with a fee of 10¢ paid by a Special Delivery stamp, it was transformed into Express Mail, introduced in 1977 after an experimental period that started in 1970, although Special Delivery was not terminated until June 8, 1997. Priority Mail Express is an accelerated domestic mail delivery service operated by the United States Postal Service, it is able to provide overnight delivery to most locations within the continental United States and guaranteed delivery within 2 days. Unlike most other USPS delivery options which provide only delivery confirmation, Express Mail provides accurate, up-to-date tracking information, insurance up to $100. Priority Mail Express delivers 365 days a year, including Saturdays and federal holidays.
Sunday/Holiday delivery incurs a charge of $12.50 in addition to standard rate. Unlike Priority Mail and First Class Package Mail, USPS provides real-time tracking information online and by phone for Priority Mail Express shipments. Global Express Guaranteed service is an international expedited delivery service provided through an alliance with FedEx Corporation, it provides guaranteed, date–definite service from Post Office facilities in the United States to a large number of international destinations. Global Express Guaranteed delivery service is guaranteed to meet the specified service standards or the postage paid may be refunded. For all network destinations, liability insurance is provided for lost or damaged shipments. Other private express carriers guarantee overnight or 2-day delivery by as early as 8:30 or 10:30 AM. Priority Mail Express offers 10:30 AM delivery where available for a $5.00 surcharge. Priority Mail Express conveys other benefits under specific circumstances: U. S. patent applications and related documents transmitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office via USPS Priority Mail Express carry the postmark date as the date of patent priority, so long as each document is mailed along with a signed certificate of mailing bearing the Priority Mail Express tracking number of the mailing label