World Post Day is celebrated on 9th October. It marks the anniversary of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), a specialized agency of the United Nations, established in 1874, with its headquarters in the Swiss capital Berne. With 192 member countries, the UPU sets the rules for international mail exchanges.
The old system of postal delivery introduced in Britain in the 17th century proved to be inefficient as the carriers, who had to ride between “posts” to deliver mail, were often the target of robbers. In the 18th century the system of mail coach provided seating for four passengers inside and more passengers were allowed to sit outside with the driver. In the 19th century the role of the coach mail was replaced by trains as the railway network expanded.
Sir Rowland Hill (1795 - 1879) was the reformer of the modern postal service, which included the invention of the postage stamp. He based his ideas on the concept of a prepaid service that would facilitate the transfer of letters in a faster, cheaper and safer way.
In 1861, a law in the USA permitted the use of postcards in the mail. It was the beginning of its golden era.
Humor at wartime
In an era of digital communication, postal services are still very important for distributing goods bought in Internet stores. In communities with lower levels of access to digital communication, postal services are essential for the distribution of information and goods.