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Smithsonian National Postal Museum


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Networking a Nation: The Star Route Service


       
 
 


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Networking a Nation: The Star Route Service
             

In 1845, postal officials tried a new approach to expand the nation’s mail service—Star Routes. The Post Office Department hired contractors for these new routes and allowed them to use any form of transportation they chose to carry the mail, from canoes to snowshoes. The mail has traveled along this network of Star Routes across America’s valleys, mountains, rivers, and highways ever since.






Key Objects


Star Route star

What is a Star Route? >>

...to carry the mail with "celerity, certainty, and security."




Key Objects


Stagecoach in water

Driving Change  >>

The efficiency and flexibility of today's Star Route Service is a tribute to the innovations that led the way.




Key Objects


Snowshoe Thompson

Traversing a Nation >>

The hardships of the Star Route Service were apparent from the beginning, as was the pioneering spirit of many contractors.





Key Objects





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