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January 16, 2016 AT 5:00 am

How We Sorted Mail at the Turn of the 20th Century

Archival Library of Congress footage from 1903 shows the postal service in action. Via Everythingaboutdesign

You probably have an inkling that modern-day mail is sorted by machines. But back in 1903, it had to be done by guys named Ralph or Wesley. They had a lot of letters to sort, and they had to do it quickly—so this is the “system” the U.S. Post Office Department came up with. (You don’t have to watch the whole clip, ten seconds will give you the idea.)

Sometimes Ralph and Wes were on shift at the same time, while a third guy named Clarence kept dumping letters onto their desk

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