The U.S. Postal Inspection Service

Firsts and Facts

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Janene Gordon is in training with the first class of inspectors that admitted women, 1971.

Did you know that postal inspectors . . .

  • had a hand in establishing the first post roads. U.S. Route 1 began as the original mail route between Boston and New York;
  • monitored the transport of mail on stagecoaches, steamboats, and railroads;
  • were the first federal agents to be issued Thompson-sub-machine guns—the “Tommy gun”—while guarding railway mail in the 1920s;
  • secured the transport of the nation’s gold reserve to Fort Knox and the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution;
  • enforced anti-obscenity laws since 1873 and continue to play an integral role in enforcing the Child Protection Act of 1984; and,
  • included some of the first women hired as federal law enforcement agents.