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Networking a Nation: Star Route Service

February 21, 2006 – July 13, 2007

Museum: Postal Museum

Location: Moving the Mail Gallery

This exhibition explores Star Routes -- a new mail service established in 1845 when the Postal Service began hiring contractors to use the most appropriate and efficient methods of transportation to carry the mail. Star Routes got their name because postal clerks, weary of writing "Celerity, Certainty, and Security" over and over again in the contract books, began using "***" instead. Star Routes have been covered by all modes of transportation from stagecoaches, trucks, and planes to less conventional means, such as dog sleds, showshoes, and bare feet. "Star Routes" were renamed "Highway Contract Routes" in 1970, but are still known by their original name today. A full-size semi truck cab-cutaway is featured to give visitors a new perspective on transportation from behind the wheel of a big rig.