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The Fast Mail

The Fast Mail image
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SuHöay's Detroit Tribune liad a fin writo u p of v trip taken on boar a poeta] car from Detroit to Chtei go, and we quote portions of it whic uiv'.s a good Mea oí the work don by tile Imsy post 1 oj eis: "Some years ago the service o tuis nlght run to Chlciago requlre only two elerks tu handle the ma) but the volume has in;-ivas.d so ra] itüy that si men are liardl.v able t get thiin-s into shape by the time Ch cago is reached. The crew on th Aun Arbor car consisted of W. A r.laekmor, first clerk; Otarles J. De prw. aecond clerk; Charles L. Brown third clerk; Cllfl E. Bassett, fourt clerk; E. P. Steors, fiftli clerk, an E. C. Bassett on probation uid heil er to second clerk. The first an third elerks had charge of the regí lar letter distribution, the second an fourth el rks and helper of the pape distribution. white the fifth cler worked mixod letters and opene ponches. The car is one of the larg est in the service, being some sixt. ïeet in length, but it was scarcel large enough to accommodate th matter placed aboard of it and allo the elerks to work without great dis comfort. The interior was abunda nt ly lig-hted with a dozen or more ovei head shaded lampa, and was heatec by a water heater in the forwar end. Outside of a washstand the e a had no conveniences. Every inch o epace almost was occupied with mal bags, and there was none left ior . clerk to spread out a couch should he have an opportunity to rest dur Sng the night. The boys, however, all carry blankets and quilts with them and should they happen to finish U] before the run is completer! they thro them over a pile of mailbags and doz off until Chicago is reachied. The first station at which any mai was put off was Ypsilanti. Three o four bags of papers and a lette pouch were thrown out of the doo nnd an equal number received. Ther was a stop of three or íour minute during which one of the clerks open ed the depot mail box and took ou what letters it contained and stamp tliein the sanie as is done in a post office. "Our next stop is at Ann Arbor," snid Mr. Biackmer, as the train agaii started, "and 1l:m-c, we will get a dose. We will receive at least 40 bags and pouches and tben the scène will begin to liven ap. W take on more mail here thiui at any station on thü run except rom Detroit. It comes trom all over Miichigan and is destüned for Michigan and the western States. Mail is sent to Ann Arbor from Kalamazoo for us. It is bound ior the west. but by sending it east as far as Ann Arbor we get hold of it much quicker and s'es us a longer tkme to work on it. This is only one of the many schemes that has to be observed to facilítate the business. That mail will travel nn extra -12 miles, the distance from Kalamazoo to Ann Arbor and back, but uo time is lost by the operation. In fac-t time is gained. Ours is the :irst eap that could taie it up. and if it was allowed to wait in -cha depot until we got to Kalamazoo w might not bs able to handte it before we arrived in Chicago." When th:e train reaebed Ann Axbor Mr. Bliackmer's prediKtion was more than fuliïlled. A ton or so of mail waa waitinsi, and after a few bags had boen dumped off on the platform the work of placáis it aboard was begun. The bags carne ílying In thick and fast and It kept two men buey to take care of it. The direetions were lnstily read and the bags thrown to tlu-ir proper places. "Thafs all." slionted the man on the platform aa the last bag waa pitched in after about fiye minutes' work. lrWéH, ] sliould say that was enough," retumed ili ■ presptring clerk who had been rocelTing the mail. The conductor swung hls lantern through the darkness, the engineer oponed liis throttle and the train was agaln flying over the rails. The doors were slammed shut and the new arrivals "svere tackled with an energy that ■would have struck terror to the heart of a lazy man. "Now for work," gaid 'Black,' " and tlie boys redoubted their efforts. "We have got to get all of this Ann Axbor inail opened and sorted l)efore. we get to Jackson, and the Michigan elerks Wfll have to move livoly to do it." He then began Bhovlng letters into hls pigeon-holes with increased speed, and for the next hour or so was dead to the world. Brown hustled bia Michigan letters into shape whlle the men on the paperB and packages commence-d Uring thelr pieces ín all directions. Mail and mail-bags wew piled in indeseribable heaps all over the floor, tables were loaded down and the pouches 011 the frames began to ÍL11 rapidly. The two clerka trom the Detroit pofitoftiee went to sleep on mailbags in the storage departmeni and a psotoffiee inspector and a clerk from, another run, who got on at Ann Arbor, stood around where they could find room and swapped yawna. The reporter was kept busy dodging the clerks and the most he could was to remain a quiet onlooker. An occasional letter was shown him. to show liow easy it was to mofee niistakcs in distribution. It was near niidnight when the train pulled into Jackson. A larg amount of work had been done on the stretch from Ann Arbor. The Michigan mail from Ann Arbor had all been successfully handled, and on arriving at the Jackson depot was reiady to be put off. A great number of bage were (Mivercd, some being for the city but the most being for other roads running out of Jackson.


Old News
Ann Arbor Courier