Melancholy Martyrs to Progress – the hazards of working on the Limited Mail

A Mid-Victorian Travelling Post Office van. (A travelling clerk, complete with carpetbag, is standing at the door).  Source: Routledge, Robert. Discoveries & Inventions of the Nineteenth Century, 13th Edition, London: George Routledge & Sons Ltd, 1900, p 111 Dr Augustus Waller Lewis, Chief Medical Officer to the Post Office, made an unexpected journey to the… Read More

Doug Brown (1977-2021)

Doug Brown: Historian, colleague, and friend We’re a project that deals with a lot of death. It’s something woven into the fabric of our working lives, a well-rehearsed routine: find the death certificates of historic postal workers, order them, download them, transcribe them, codify, analyse. We’ve done this all in a year with death surrounding… Read More

Dr Edith Shove: “She-Doctor” to the General Post Office

The Central Telegraph Office, General Post Office, London, 1874 Source: Illustrated London News, 12 December 1874 “The practical absurdity of directing a female medical inspector to inquire into and report upon the minute of every ailment which may temporarily incapacitate the rougher sex from a performance of their duties in the Telegraph department.”[1] This excerpt… Read More

‘Always at Work’: The Post Office Horse

‘He begins his week’s work at four o’clock on Sunday afternoon; he ends it at half-past ten on Sunday morning; and at any time during that long week he is liable for instant service, and has only five and a half hours’ undisturbed rest…that is the only respite he is sure of—just enough, as it… Read More