Rocket Mail!

Today we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the most unusual method of mail delivery ever attempted: mail delivery via guided missile.

On June 8 1959, a missile was installed into the USS Barbero (which had been temporarily established to be a “postal branch”) and 3000 letters were stamped and inserted as the payload. The missile was fired from sea and flew to Mayport, Florida, where the payload was deployed via parachute and the letters were collected and taken to Jacksonville for processing.

Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield remarked: “This peacetime employment of a guided missile is the first known use of missiles by any post office.” He predicted “Before man reaches the Moon, mail will be delivered within hours from New York to California, to Britain, to India, or Australia by guided missiles. We stand on the threshold of rocket mail.”

Oh, those wacky 1950s people. But wouldn’t rocket mail be cool?

This entry was posted in Mike's Rambling Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Rocket Mail!

  1. Brian says:

    Dang, another unfulfilled promise of the future, so disappointing. Hey 1950s, i’m still waiting for my jetpack too! Sigh :(

  2. Neal says:

    I think this ought to be celebrated with a good Elton John song.

    I’m a Rocket Man …

  3. Chris says:

    If only the damned internet hadn’t come along and supplanted the functions of rocket mail. That is what I call progress coming back to bite us in the ass.

  4. Guardsman Bass says:

    It’s certainly an odd prediction. I mean, they had radio fax (sending pictures by radio waves) since the 1920s – I wonder why they thought we would simply come up with a much faster way of sending physical mail as opposed to utilizing a method of sending faster messages entirely?

  5. Dang, another unfulfilled promise of the future, so disappointing. Hey 1950s, i’m still waiting for my jetpack too! Sigh :(

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>