In the late 1800s—before cars, trucks, and buses were commonplace—mail delivery was accomplished with remarkable efficiency. This was partly due to the extensive development of rail service and government recognition of the commercial importance of prompt delivery.
In contrast, today the conversation in the United States, for example, is about the postal service’s pension-driven deficits, yet another increase in the first-class letter rate, and the imminent end of Saturday delivery. It sort of gives “progress” a bad name.
Here are a couple enjoyable examples of 1890s efficient mail handling as I assemble an album of Grand Duke Adolphe covers:
Luxembourg to Vervins (France)
Special Delivery to a Rheinische Wine Bar
10c postal card rate