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Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow...nor Saturdays

Ending a 150-year-old service, the U.S. Postal Service this week announced an end to Saturday deliveries of first-class mail.

By August 1, the service will be discontinued in an effort to stop the bleeding of more than $25 million in losses each day. The USPS lost a staggering $16 billion last year, and more than $41 billion over the past six years.

Cutting the service back to five days will save around $2 billion a year, the USPS says, and they plan additional staff cuts and restructuring to further save money.

According to the Postal Service, in "an October 2011 Quinnipiac poll fully 79 percent of Americans endorse the shift."

Not all is lost on Saturdays, however. The move to five days of service will only affect first-class mail, which means packages, along with priority and express mail will still be delivered on Saturdays, according to the plan.
Photo by: Getty Images

U.S. Post Office in Washington, D.C., 1920

The interior of a mail sorting room at the U.S. Post Office in Washington, D.C., 1920. In 2011, the United States Postal Service delivered more than 167.9 billion pieces of mail -- that's 6,400 pieces processed each second -- all while collecting zero tax dollars for operations.
Photo by: Library of Congress

U.S. mail trucks

U.S. mail trucks lined up outside a Post Office sometime between 1909 and 1940. Today the USPS's 213,881 vehicles -- which is the largest civilian fleet in the world -- drive more than 1.2 billion miles each year.
Photo by: Library of Congress

U.S. mail truck

A U.S. mail truck alongside a horse-drawn carriage, around 1940.
Photo by: Library of Congress

The postman arrives

A Postman hand-delivers letters to two children on the front steps of their home.
Photo by: Fox Photos

U.S. Mail railroad car

A U.S. Mail railroad car hauls letters and packages via freight train, circa 1920.
Photo by: Library of Congress

Horses pulling U.S. Mail sled

Horses pull a U.S. Mail sled through the snowy wilds near Nome, Alaska, circa 1920.
Photo by: Library of Congress

Delivering via cargo ship

Delivering the U.S. mail via a cargo ship in Detroit, circa 1910.
Photo by: Library of Congress

Arriving via airplane

The U.S. mail arrives via airplane on August 2, 1922.
Photo by: Library of Congress

Letter sled

Mail was even delivered via a horse-drawn sleigh during the winter months in some places with heavy snowfall.
Photo by: Library of Congress

Postmen on skis

Postmen deliver the mail via skis along a snow-covered Main Street in Breckenridge, Colo., in 1898.
Photo by: Library of Congress

Mail on the web

Today, of course, in the year 2013, email is one of our primary sources of communication, allowing instant communication over the Internet, and also a sizable amount of spam.

Will we really miss the Saturday delivery of first-class snail mail?
Photo by: Flickr user comedy_nose


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