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A Hundred Years by Post A Jubilee Retrospect   By: (1841-1918)

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A Hundred Years by Post

A JUBILEE RETROSPECT

BY

J. WILSON HYDE

AUTHOR OF 'THE ROYAL MAIL: ITS CURIOSITIES AND ROMANCE'

[Illustration]

LONDON

SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON AND CO., LIM. St. Dunstan's House FETTER LANE, FLEET STREET, E.C.

1891

[ All rights reserved ]

Printed by T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to Her Majesty, at the Edinburgh University Press.

TO

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

HENRY CECIL RAIKES, M.P.

HER MAJESTY'S POSTMASTER GENERAL,

THE FOLLOWING PAGES ARE,

BY PERMISSION,

RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED.

PREFACE.

The following pages give some particulars of the changes that have taken place in the Post Office service during the past hundred years; and the matter may prove interesting, not only on account of the changes themselves, but in respect of the influence which the growing usefulness of the Postal Service must necessarily have upon almost every relation of political, educational, social, and commercial life. More especially may the subject be found attractive at the close of the present year, when the country has been celebrating the Jubilee of the Penny Post.

EDINBURGH,

December 1890.

CONTENTS.

PAGE

Frontispiece MAIL COACH IN THUNDERSTORM.

PAST AND PRESENT CONTRASTED, 1

LIBERTY OF SUBJECT AND PUBLIC OPINION, 5

ABUSES OF POWER, 7

SLOW DIFFUSION OF NEWS, 17

Illustration ANALYSIS OF LONDON TO EDINBURGH MAIL OF 2D MARCH 1838, facing 22

STATE OF ROADS AND INSECURITY OF TRAVELLING, 27

FOOT AND HORSE POSTS, 33

Illustration THE MAIL, 1803, facing 40

THE MAIL COACH ERA, 40

Illustration THE MAIL, 1824, facing 46

Illustration MODERN MAIL "APPARATUS" FOR EXCHANGE OF MAILS, facing 58

Illustration THE MAIL COACH GUARD, facing 74

DEAR POSTAGE, 80

Diagrams ROUNDABOUT COMMUNICATIONS, 84, 85

STREETS FIRST NUMBERED, 88

POSTMASTERS AS NEWS COLLECTORS, 91

Illustration THE BELLMAN, facing 92

MAIL PACKET SERVICE, 96

Illustration HOLYHEAD AND KINGSTOWN PACKET "PRINCE ARTHUR," facing 102

PENNY POSTAGE, 111

Illustration HANDBILL USED IN PENNY POSTAGE AGITATION, facing 112

VARIOUS BUSINESS OF THE POST OFFICE, 119

STAFF OF THE POST OFFICE, 123

Illustration TONTINE READING ROOMS GLASGOW, facing 126

VALUE OF EARLY NEWS BY POST, 130

DIFFUSION OF PARLIAMENTARY NEWS BY THE TELEGRAPH AND PRESS, 136

RESULTS OF RAPID COMMUNICATIONS, 139

[Illustration: Frontispiece. MAIL COACH IN THUNDERSTORM. ( From a print, 1827. )]

A HUNDRED YEARS BY POST.

Were a former inhabitant of this country who had quitted the stage of life towards the close of last century to reappear in our midst, he could not fail to be struck with the wonderful changes which have taken place in the aspect of things; in the methods of performing the tasks of daily life; and in the character of our social system generally. Nor is it too much to say that he would see himself surrounded by a world full of enchantment, and that his senses of wonder and admiration would rival the feelings excited in youthful minds under the spell of books like Jules Verne's Journey to the Moon , or the ever entertaining stories of the Arabian Nights . It is true that he would find the operations of nature going on as before. The dewdrop and the blade of grass, sunshine and shower, the movements of the tides, and the revolutions of the heavenly bodies; these would still appear to be the same... Continue reading book >>




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