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The Atlantic Revisits Sending Babies Through the Mail

A photograph from the early 20th century has striking similarities to the magazine's latest cover story


According to the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, after parcel post service was introduced in 1913, at least two children were sent by the service—literally. Stamps were placed onto their clothing and they were shipped off to their final destination. Talk about precious cargo!

A New York Times article from 1913 includes a letter to the Post Office asking whether or not they could send an infant through the mail. And, if permitted to do so, how they might go about “wrapping so it (baby) would comply with regulations.” The Post Master General issued a regulation soon after forbidding the sending of children via mail.

But check out the similarities to the The Atlantic‘s July/August issue cover story, “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All,” which has taken the Internet by storm, full of both cheers of agreement and rebuttals. The Associated Press reports that the article attracted more visitors to the magazine’s site in a 24-hour period than any magazine story the site has ever published.

As we indicated to the Atlantic over Twitter, we caught them red handed.

Photo via the Postal Museum’s Flickr page as seen on Retronaut.

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About K. Annabelle Smith
K. Annabelle Smith

K. Annabelle Smith is a writer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico who covers a wide variety of topics for Smithsonian.com. Her work also appears in OutsideOnline.com and Esquire.com.

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