The U.S. Postal Service is in rough shape. Despite (misguided) congressional attempts to bring the agency back into the black, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy still projects $60–$70 billion in additional losses through 2030.
Postal efficiency has slid in recent years, and the Postal Service’s reputation of delivery through any weather condition has been hampered by service slowdowns. Fortunately, history offers a useful guide to help the Postal Service snap out of its funk.
Reforms enacted during the height of the Gilded Age — the last decades of the 19th century — made America’s mail carrier what it is today. The lessons of a bygone era could prove crucial for an agency struggling with stagnation and modernity. Perhaps it’s time to bring back the 1890s, without the horse and buggy.