Over the years, the United States Postal Service has issued postcards advertising their mail services. These are ones promoting holiday mail. There may be more–these are just the ones I have found. Most of them have copyright dates so that they are easy to date.
My first card below does not have a copyright date. Based on the rate and dates of the other cards, I believe it is from 1985. Overnight service was $10.75 for a 2-pound package.
The next card is ©1986. Rates advertised on the back are $10.75 for a 2-pound package, $12.85 for 5 pounds–“rates even Ebeneezer Scrooge would love.”
The next two postcards are ©1987. The “Fear Not” card advertised Express Mail with the same rates as the previous card. Overnight delivery was “a Christmas promise with no Claus.”
The 1987 card with the last-minute shopper advertised Priority Mail at the rate of $2.40 for two pounds. Delivery time was two days for major metropolitan areas and three days to anywhere else in the U.S.A.
The next postcard is ©1988 and advertised both Express Mail and Priority Mail. Holiday mail could be delivered “in the nick of time” and “without taking a big nick out of your holiday budget.” Express Mail was $12.00 for a 2-lb pak and $8.75 for 8 oz. This was the first year that there was a lower rate for 8 ounces. Priority Mail was $2.40 for 2 pounds.
The next card is ©1989. Last-minute gift sending ideas from the post office were $2.40 for Priority Mail, $8.75 for up to 8 ounces of Express Mail or $12 for 2 pounds.
The next card is undated, but is probably from 1990. Express mail was $8.75 for a half-pound package and $15.25 for 5 pounds. Priority Mail was still $2.40. This and the next card show an “Official Olympic Sponsor’ logo on the back. The postal service signed agreements in 1989 to be an official sponsor of the 1992 Olympic games.
The next card is ©1991. Express Mail service started at $9.95, and Priority Mail was $2.90.
Skipping ahead 15 years, my next card is ©2006. USPS had a website by then. The back of the card advertised shipping options:
• Express Mail from $14.40
• Priority Mail from $4.05
• Global Priority Mail from $4.25
• Global Express Mail (3-5 days) from $16.25
• Global Express Guaranteed (1-3 days) from $25.25
The ©2007 card advertises stamps and shipping services available at neighborhood retailers.
I also have a larger (5″ X 7″) postcard with the 2007 design that was addressed to my home (most of the USPS ad card just have “POSTAL CUSTOMER” printed in the address area). The larger postcard has a different message near the top of the front. The back is divided horizontally, with a color image advertising custom holiday postage covering the top half.
The last card I have is ©2008 and features all the things you could do from home at usps.com:
• Create your own stamps.
• Pay postage and print labels.
• Make your own greeting cards.
• Request Free Package Pickup.*
• Order free eco-friendly shipping supplies.
• Find the nearest Post Office with holiday hours.