No Babies Please!

Children "mailed" by their parents because it was cheaper to mail them - if a child came in under the 50 pound parcel weight limit, than other ways to travel
Children "mailed" by their parents because it was cheaper to mail them - if a child came in under the 50 pound parcel weight limit, than other ways to travel

Historical Context

When the US postal service began parcel deliveries in 1913 it wasn't long before some ingenious parents cottoned on to the idea of mailing their children. A 10-month old baby boy, the child of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Beauge from Batavia, Ohio, was posted for the cost of 15c in stamps, though his parents did insure him for $50. In the most famous case 5-year-old May Pierstorff was mailed via train from her home in Idaho, the stamps stuck to her coat.

The practice is not as callous as it first appears, postmen were trusted local officials whom rural people usually knew personally. May Pierstorff was herself sent with a cousin who was a postal clerk. Nevertheless the US postal service tried to shut the practice down and had to issue a directive that no humans were to be carried in the mail.

Photo Info


Location taken: USA

Related Events

  • 1914-02-19 Four-year old Charlotte May Pierstorff mailed by train from Grangeville, Idaho to her grandparents’ house 73 miles away in most famous 'child in the post' instance
  • 1920-06-13 US Post Office says children cannot be sent by parcel post (after various instances)

Historical Photos