Baby Express: Once Upon a Time, Babies Traveled By Mail in Idaho
Decades before flying unaccompanied children and adolescents from place to place had evolved, parents of yesteryear adopted a most unconventional approach to carting their offspring around.
It was shortly after the United States Postal Service began parcel deliveries that American parents would seize the wildly unbelievable opportunity.
What could be so wild?
Like an Amazon Prime but for tiny humans, parents began sending their children to and fro via surface mail.
Yes, you read that correctly. And no, this isn't a joke. Parenting in 1914 was experimental and quirky to say the least.
(Brace for a self-indulgent pun 3, 2, 1...)
Among the first children to go postal was Mr. and Mrs. Beauge's 10-month-old baby boy. Insured by his parents for a grand total of $50 dollars, baby Beauge's journey through Ohio cost just 15 cents in postal stamps. Carried from post to post in a burlap mail sack, the infant was no worse for the wear by journey's end.
But it wasn't until February 17, 1914, that the United States Postal Service would mail its most famous "passenger."
Little Miss May
A five-year-old girl from Grangeville, Idaho, May Pierstoff ventured across a 73-mile journey to her grandmother's home in Lewiston, Idaho by parcel mail. What's less known of the famous and peculiar voyage was little Miss May's connection to her postal nanny. As it turned out, the postman who escorted May was actually her cousin. Contrary to most expectations, little Miss May's journey was free of harm and delivered her safely to her grandmother.
USPS: baby-nanny no more
Despite the safe travels and arrivals of all its precious cargo, USPS issued a directive to shut down the Baby Express after two years.