Featuring Research Volunteer Contributions

Stamps in American Culture

Creative Uses of the Mail

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Coconut mailed from Raymond J. Boudet, stationed in Hawaii in 1944, to his wife, Marie Boudet, in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Letters, magazines, packages, catalogs, bills, and advertisements are among those items that come to mind when asked to think of the word “mail.” This commonly agreed upon definition has sometimes been stretched in creative and interesting ways. Over time, the U.S. postal system has adapted rules limiting some of the more outrageous tests to define the word “mail.” Nevertheless, unusual or odd objects continue to legally make their way through the post.

Nancy A. Pope, National Postal Museum