When the U.S. Post Office opened its domestic parcel post program in 1913, the novelty was far beyond what Amazon wrought.
Having the post office deliver everyday items to and from homes nationwide opened a new economy, piqued curiosity and sparked creativity. On Jan. 1, 1913, in Paterson, 20 packages went through the post office and parcel substations. The next day, the volume swelled to 213.
Some shipments made news, as mundane as they may seem today. Reports out of Paterson referred to a box of flowers and a framed picture. Down the shore, a broom sent to a home in Red Bank and copper bars headed for the Standard Underground Cable Works in Perth Amboy made news.