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Smithsonian National Postal Museum


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What is a Star Route?
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Networking a Nation: The Star Route Service


       


   Celerity                       Certainty                       Security 
What is a Star Route?

"Celerity, Certainty, Security" stars

The legislation establishing new mail service in 1845 called for contractors to carry the mail with “celerity, certainty, and security.”

Weary of repeatedly writing these words in ledgers, postal clerks substituted three asterisks— * * * —and the phrase “Star Route” was born. Star Routes were renamed "Highway Contract Routes” in 1970, though they are still commonly known by their original name today.


 

Star Route Service
(duration: 3:12)


 




Key Objects

star
Contractor with snow covered truck, Courtesy of Alan Ritchey, Inc.

Transporting the Mail >>

For Star Route contractors, the “best” technology was the one that fit the route.





Key Objects





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