Most of us over the age of 40 remember a day when, around the holiday season or summer time, put their young children on a plane to visit far away family members, knowing that their little ones would be looked after by a dutiful airline crew. But that, for any number of reasons, has gone by the wayside, not unlike another American tradition going back to the late 19th and early 20th century: Putting children in the mail.
Yep! Believe it or nor, sending children via the United States Postal Service actually used to be a thing. A little detail from thoughtco.com:
"Once-upon-a-time, it was legal to mail a baby in the United States. It happened more than once and by all accounts, the mailed tots arrived no worse for wear. Yes, 'baby mail' was real.
On January 1, 1913, the U.S. Post Office Department - now the United States postal Service - first started delivering packages. Americans instantly fell in love with the new service and were soon mailing each other all sorts of items, like parasols, pitchforks and, yes, babies."
And there are even records, kept by The Smithsonian National Postal Museum:
"...with postal regulations being few and far between in 1913, they failed to specify exactly what could and could not be mailed via the still very new parcel post service. So in mid-January 1913, an unnamed baby boy in Batavia, Ohio was delivered by a Rural Free Delivery carrier to its grandmother about a mile away. The boy’s parents paid 15-cents for the stamps and even insured their son for $50."
But, with the passing of time came a greater awareness, and in 1915 the Post Office officially did away with their "baby mail," with a rule that actually banned the act of "mailing human beings."
Once again, from thoughtco.com:
"Even today, postal regulations allow the mailing of live animals, including poultry, reptiles, and bees, under certain conditions. But no more babies, please."