If you're expecting something in the mail, don't count on it Monday. Post offices are closed for the legal observance of Labor Day. There will be no mail.
Zeppelin mail was mail carried on zeppelins, the German airships that saw civilian use from 1908 to 1939. Almost every zeppelin flight carried mail, sometimes in large quantities; the covers usually received special postmarks, and a number of nations issued postage stamps specifically intended for use on mail carried by the zeppelins.
The first zeppelin to carry mail was LZ 4, in July 1908, followed shortly by LZ 3. The early flights did not use any special markings; the first was an oval reading "LUFTSCHIFF / SIGNALPOST" around the edge and "Z III" in the center, used on LZ 6 (Z 3) from August to October 1909. By 1911 a number of different postmarks were in use; a typical example was a circle reading "AN BORD DES / ZEPPELIN / LUFTSCHIFFES", with a date in the center and the name of the zeppelin at bottom. These were actually applied on board the zeppelin while in flight, at a small postal station.
The zeppelins were taken into military service in 1914, and thereafter did not carry civilian mail, although military commanders had special handstamps applied to their mail.
In late 1919, BodenseeLZ 120 resumed flights and mail carriage, using postmarks much as before the war, until 1921 when it was given to Italy as a war reparation. LZ 126 carried mail briefly in 1924 before it was given to the United States and renamed the (ZR-3)Los Angeles. The Los Angeles carried mail between Lakehurst, New Jersey, Bermuda, and Mayagüez, Puerto Rico several times.
Graf ZeppelinLZ 127 had a long and celebrated career. Within weeks of its first flight in September 1928, the Graf Zeppelin carried the first airmail to go directly from Germany to the US and vice versa. Germany issued special 2-mark and 4-mark stamps for the occasion. On the return trip, the zeppelin carried almost 52,000 postcards and 50,000 letters. In 1929, Graf Zeppelin circled the globe, with stops in Tokyo and Los Angeles. By the time it was taken out of service in June 1937, the zeppelin had made 590 flights, each flight carrying up to 12 tons of mail to and from dozens of countries around the world.
Although HindenburgLZ 129 is most famous for its fiery end, for the 14 months of its existence, it carried considerable amounts of mail overseas, and many of those are readily available today. Most of the 17,609 pieces of mail on the last flight were destroyed in the fire, but a handful were recovered, and today are highly-prized crash covers.
The Graf Zeppelin IILZ 130 was the last of the zeppelins to carry mail; it was in civilian service for only a few months, from October 1938 to August 1939, and made only 30 trips, all within Germany.
Royal Mail is the government-owned postal service in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Royal Mail Holdings plc owns Royal Mail Group Limited, which in turn operates the brands Royal Mail (letters) and Parcelforce Worldwide (parcels). Post Office Ltd. (counters) and General Logistics Systems, an international logistics company, are wholly owned subsidiaries.
Royal Mail Holdings is a public limited company in which the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills owns 50,004 ordinary shares plus 1 special share, and the Treasury Solicitor holds 1 ordinary share.
Historically, the General Post Office was a government department which included the Royal Mail delivery business, represented in Her Majesty's Government by the Postmaster General, a Cabinet-level post. It became a statutory corporation known as the Post Office in 1969. Most of the duties were passed to Consignia plc, a public limited company wholly owned by Her Majesty's Government, in November 2001 and the dormant Post Office Corporation was dissolved in 2007. Consignia changed to Consignia Holdings plc, then Royal Mail Holdings plc, the current name.
Royal Mail was not privatised in the 1980s or 1990s, and currently remains a state-owned company. However the Postal Services Act 2011 enables the government to privatise up to 90% of Royal Mail, with 10% being held by Royal Mail employees. The first sale of shares is expected in 2013. The Act makes provision for Post Office Ltd. to continue under the ownership of the Crown or a mutual ownership structure.][
Royal Mail is responsible for universal mail collection and delivery in the UK. Letters are deposited in a pillar or wall box, taken to a post office, or collected in bulk from businesses. Deliveries are made at least once every day except Sundays and Bank Holidays at uniform charges for all British destinations. First Class deliveries are generally made the next business day throughout the nation.
In 2006, Royal Mail delivered 84 million items every working day and had a network of 14,376 post offices with a revenue of £9.056 billion, and profits before tax were £312 million. Since that time, profits have dropped year on year – £233 million in 2006-7 falling to a £10 million trading deficit in 2007. In 2008, the BBC reported that Royal Mail's trading position had worsened to an annual loss of £279 million/yr in financial 2007. For the financial year 2008-9 Royal Mail had an operating profit of £321m, with all four group businesses in a full year profit for the first time in two decades.
In Wales, the service carries the Welsh name Post Brenhinol, as well as the English name. Both names are normally used on vans, postboxes etc. It is also compulsory for all Post Offices in Wales to have the name Swyddfa'r Post on display outside. Post Offices in Gaelic-speaking areas of Scotland, such as the Hebrides and parts of the Highlands, also display the name Oifis a' Phuist ("Post Office").][
The Royal Mail can trace its history back to 1516, when Henry VIII established a "Master of the Posts", a post which eventually evolved into the office of the Postmaster General.
Upon his accession to the throne of England at the Union of the Crowns in 1603, James VI and I moved his court to London. One of his first acts from London was to establish the royal postal service between London and Edinburgh, in an attempt to retain control over the Scottish Privy Council.
The Royal Mail service was first made available to the public by Charles I on 31 July 1635, with postage being paid by the recipient. The monopoly was farmed out to Thomas Witherings.
In the 1640s Parliament removed the monopoly from Witherings and during the Civil War and First Commonwealth the parliamentary postal service was run at great profit for himself by Edmund Prideaux (a prominent parliamentarian and lawyer who rose to be attorney-general). To keep his monopoly in those troubled times Prideaux improved efficiency and used both legal impediments and illegal methods.
In 1653 Parliament set aside all previous grants for postal services, and contracts were let for the inland and foreign mails to John Manley. Manley was given a monopoly on the postal service, which was effectively enforced by Protector Oliver Cromwell's government, and thanks to the improvements necessitated by the war Manley ran a much improved Post Office service. In July 1655 the Post Office was put under the direct government control of John Thurloe, a Secretary of State, and best known to history as Cromwell's spymaster general. Previous English governments had tried to prevent conspirators communicating, Thurloe preferred to deliver their post having surreptitiously read it. As the Protectorate claimed to govern all of Great Britain and Ireland under one unified government, on 9 June 1657 the Second Protectorate Parliament (which included Scottish and Irish MPs) passed the "Act for settling the Postage in England, Scotland and Ireland" that created one monopoly Post Office for the whole territory of the Commonwealth.
At the restoration of the monarchy, in 1660, all the ordinances and acts passed by parliaments during the Civil War and the Interregnum passed into oblivion, so the General Post Office (GPO) was officially established by Charles II in 1660.
Between 1719 and 1763, Ralph Allen, Postmaster at Bath, signed a series of contracts with the post office to develop and expand Britain's postal network. He organised mail coaches which were provided by both Wilson & Company of London and Williams & Company of Bath. The early Royal Mail Coaches were similar to ordinary family coaches but with Post Office livery.
In December 1839 the first substantial reform started when postage rates were revised by the short-lived Uniform Fourpenny Post. Greater changes took place when the Uniform Penny Post was introduced on 10 January 1840 whereby a single rate for delivery anywhere in Great Britain and Ireland was pre-paid by the sender. A few months later, to certify that postage had been paid on a letter, the sender could affix the first adhesive postage stamp, the Penny Black that was available for use from 6 May the same year. Other innovations were the introduction of pre-paid William Mulready designed postal stationery letter sheets and envelopes.
As Britain was the first country to issue prepaid postage stamps, British stamps are the only stamps that do not bear the name of the country of issue on them.
By the late 19th century, there were between six and twelve mail deliveries per day in London, permitting correspondents to exchange multiple letters within a single day.
Traditionally British post boxes carried the Latin initials of the reigning monarch at the time of their installation: in this case VR for Victoria Regina or in the case of a male regent, e.g., GR for George Rex. This is now only applicable in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.][ Such branding is not used in Scotland due to dispute over the current monarch's title. Some Scottish nationalists argue that Queen Elizabeth II should have simply been Queen Elizabeth as there had been no previous Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, only of the 'extinct' after 1707 Kingdom of England (and Wales). That dispute included vandalism and attacks on pillar and post boxes introduced in Scotland that displayed EIIR. To avoid the dispute, pillar boxes in Scotland are either marked 'Post Office' or use the Scots Crown. Similarly, rather than the St Edward's Crown with the EIIR Cipher used elsewhere, in Scotland Royal Mail vans, until recently, have displayed the Scots Crown but without the Royal Cipher being displayed. During 2012 the Post Office in Scotland has started to introduced post-vans which bear the St Edwards Crown and Royal Cipher of EIIR on the front doors contrary to the 1950s decision on how to resolve the dispute over the monarch's title in Scotland. These vans have been seen in at least Broughty Ferry in Angus and St Andrews in Fife. Pillar boxes and other Royal Mail Group street furniture are maintained by Romec Ltd, a company part owned by Royal Mail Group.
Contrary to urban myth, Royal Mail does not own the trademark on the colour red, but a specific shade of the colour red: "Royal Mail, the Royal Mail Cruciform, the colour red (as part of the Royal Mail logotype) and SmartStamp are all registered trademarks of Royal Mail Group plc."
Under the Post Office Act 1969 the General Post Office was changed from a government department to a statutory corporation, known simply as the Post Office. The office of Postmaster General was abolished and replaced with the positions of Chairman and Chief Executive in the new company.
During the 1980s both British Telecom and Girobank were split off from the Post Office and sold, however the postal services section remained in public ownership as privatisation of this was deemed to be too unpopular. However in the 1990s President of the Board of Trade Michael Heseltine began investigating a possible sale and eventually a Green Paper on Postal Reform was published in May 1994, outlining various options for privatisation. The ideas though, proved controversial and were dropped from the 1994 Queen's Speech after a number of Conservative MPs warned Heseltine they would not vote for the legislation.
After a change of government in 1997, the Labour administration decided to keep the Post Office state-owned but with more commercial freedom. This led to the Postal Services Act 2000, where the Post Office became a public limited company renamed Consignia plc. However, the change proved to be highly unpopular with both the public and even the organisation's own employees, with the Communication Workers Union boycotting the name. In 2002, the organisation adopted the name of the letters delivery business, becoming Royal Mail Group plc with the following operating divisions:
As part of the 2000 Act the government set up a postal regulator, the Postal Services Commission, known as Postcomm, which offered licences to private companies to deliver mail. In 2001, the Consumer Council for Postal Services, known as Postwatch, was created for consumers to express any concerns they may have with the postal service in Britain.
From 1 January 2006, the Royal Mail lost its 350-year monopoly and the British postal market became fully open to competition. On 1 October 2008, Postwatch was merged into the new consumer watchdog, Consumer Focus.
In 2008, due to a continuing fall in mail volumes the government commissioned an independent review of the postal services sector by Richard Hooper CBE, the former deputy chairman of Ofcom. The recommendations in the Hooper Review led to Business Secretary Lord Mandelson to seek to part privatise the company by selling a minority stake to a commercial partner. However despite legislation for the sale passing the House of Lords, it was abandoned in the House of Commons after strong opposition from backbench Labour MPs. The government later cited the difficult economic conditions for the reason behind the retreat.
After the departure of Adam Crozier to ITV on 27 May 2010, Royal Mail appointed Canadian Moya Greene as Chief Executive, the first woman to hold the post.
Following the 2010 general election the new Business Secretary in the Coalition government, Vince Cable, asked Richard Hooper CBE to update his report. Based on the Hooper Review Update the government passed the Postal Services Act 2011. The Act allows for up to 90% of Royal Mail to be privatised with at least 10% of shares being held by Royal Mail employees.
As part of the 2011 Act, Postcomm was merged into the communications regulator Ofcom on 1 October 2011, with Ofcom introducing a new simplified set of regulations for postal services on 27 March 2012. On 31 March 2012 the government took over the historic assets and liabilities of the Royal Mail pension scheme which ran at a considerable deficit. On 1 April 2012 Royal Mail's subsidiary Post Office Ltd was separated from the group. The Act also contains the option for Post Office Ltd to become a mutual organisation in the future.
During the 2012 London Olympics, Royal Mail offered an incentive for Team GB athletes to win Gold Medals through the promise to paint a postbox in the hometown of each recipient gold and a box near Westminster Abbey was painted gold as a demonstration model. Similarly, special sets of stamps were, and will continue to be, introduced for all British 2012 Olympic Gold Medal athletes, the first being for rowers Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, who won the women's coxless pair. This is the first time that stamps have been issued one day after the event they commemorate.
In July 2012 Ofcom consulted on a scheme proposed by Royal Mail to alter its delivery obligations to allow larger postal items to be left with neighbours rather than returning them to a Royal Mail office to await collection. The scheme was presented as offering consumers greater choice for receiving mail when not at home and was said to follow Royal Mail research from a 'delivery to neighbour' trial across 6 areas of the UK that showed widespread consumer satisfaction. In a statement dated 27 September 2012, Ofcom announced it would approve the scheme after noting that more goods were being purchased over the internet and that Royal Mail's competitors were permitted to leave undelivered items with neighbours. People who wish not to have parcels left with neighbours, or to receive those of others, can opt out by displaying a free opt-out sticker near their letterbox. Royal Mail remains liable for undeliverable items until they are received by the addressee.
According to business secretary Vince Cable, Royal Mail will be floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2013 and he confirmed that postal staff are entitled to free shares. Cable explained his position before the House of Commons in July 2013:
The government's decision on the sale is practical, it is logical, it is a commercial decision designed to put Royal Mail's future on a long-term sustainable business. It is consistent with developments elsewhere in Europe where privatised operators in Austria, Germany and Belgium produce profit margins far higher than the Royal Mail but have continued to provide high-quality and expanding services.
In response, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) that represents close to 100,000 Royal Mail employees will work in opposition to the privatisation process. Royal Mail's chief executive Moya Greene publicly supported Cable, stating that the sale will provide staff with "a meaningful stake in the company", while the public will be able to "invest in a great British institution".
Royal Mail employs 130,000 permanent postal workers (2011).
To cope with the additional workload during the Christmas period (November and December), Royal Mail recruits an additional 18,000 casual staff to work in their mail and distribution operations. In 2010 they received 70,000 applications for these temporary jobs, while in 2011 this figure jumped to 110,000. In 2011 a new in-house agency, Angard Staffing Solutions, was set up to recruit temporary workers. Royal Mail was accused of trying to circumvent the Agency Workers Regulations, but they denied this, saying they only wanted to reduce recruitment costs.
Royal Mail Special Delivery is an expedited mail service that guarantees delivery by 1 pm or 9 am the next day for an increased cost. In the event that the item does not arrive one there is a money back guarantee. It insures goods between the value of £50 for 9 am or £500 for 1 pm to £2,500 (for either service).
There are specific areas of the country where later guarantees apply. Quality of service for Special Delivery is very high at around 99%, and has been consistently at or about this level for a number of years. It is used by a number of major businesses, as well as consumers and smaller businesses, and can be purchased through a postage account, a postage meter, or from Post Office counters.
On receiving the item, the recipient must sign for it. If the recipient is not in, then a P739 'Something for you' card should be left by the post delivery person.
The Royal Mail runs, alongside its stamped mail services, another sector of post called business mail. The large majority of Royal Mail's business mail service is for PPI or franked mail, where the sender prints their own 'stamp'. For PPI mail this involves either a simple rubber stamp and an ink pad, or a printed label. For franked mail, a dedicated franking machine is used.
Bulk business mail attracts reduced prices if the sender prints an RM4SCC barcode, or prints the address in a specified position on the envelope using a font readable by optical character recognition (OCR) equipment. There are no facilities to read addresses in these formats from general mail.
The General Post Office introduced telegraph services in 1870 and telephone services in 1912. It took over nearly all of Britain's municipal telephone companies (the sole exception being Kingston Communications in Hull) and was responsible for the resultant telephone network until British Telecommunications (BT) was demerged by the British Telecommunications Act 1981. BT was later privatised in 1984.
The National Girobank was introduced in 1968 and sold to Alliance & Leicester in 1990. The government run National Savings and Investments (founded in 1861 as the Post Office Savings Bank) is also operated through Post Office branches.
Historically, many government benefits and state retirement pensions were paid in cash through the post office network. However, in recent years, an increasing proportion of benefit and pension payments have been made directly by bank transfer, leading to a loss of revenue for Post Office branches and many closures.
Royal Mail will not carry a number of items which it says could be dangerous for its staff or vehicles. Additionally, a list of 'restricted' items can be posted subject to conditions. Prohibited goods include alcoholic, corrosive or flammable liquids or solids, gases, controlled drugs, indecent or offensive materials, and human and animal remains.
In 2004 Royal Mail applied to the then postal regulator Postcomm to ban the carriage of sporting firearms, saying they caused disruption to the network, that a ban would assist police with firearms control, and that ease of access meant the letters network was a target of criminals. Postcomm issued a consultation on the proposed changes in December 2004, to which 62 people and organisations responded.
In June 2005 Postcomm decided to refuse the application on the grounds that Royal Mail had not provided sufficient evidence that carrying firearms caused undue disruption or that a ban would reduce the number of illegal weapons. It also said a ban would cause unnecessary hardship to individuals and businesses.
In August 2012 Royal Mail again attempted to prohibit the carriage of all firearms, air rifles and air pistols from 30 November 2012. It cited Section 14(1) of the 1998 Firearms (Amendment) Act, which requires carriers of firearms to "take reasonable precautions" for their safe custody and argued that to comply would involve disproportionate cost. A Royal Mail public consultation document on the changes said: "We expect the impact on customers to be minimal".
The proposals provoked a large negative response following a campaign led by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation and backed by numerous shooting-related websites and organisations. A total of 1,458 people gave their views in emails and letters sent to Royal Mail. An online petition opposing the proposals was signed by 2,236 people, 1,742 of whom added comments. In the face of such opposition, Royal Mail dropped the proposals in December 2012.
The Royal Mail is regulated by Ofcom, while consumer interests are represented by Consumer Focus. The relationship between the two bodies' predecessors (Postcomm and Postwatch) was not always good, and in 2005, Postwatch took Postcomm to judicial review over its decision regarding rebates to late-paying customers.
The Government department responsible for the Royal Mail is the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, however the public financial interest is managed by the Shareholder Executive.
Although now a private company, the Royal Mail enjoys special protection under Government legislation which severely limits consumer rights. Under the Postal Services Act 2000, the Royal Mail is under no contractual obligation to deliver most mail, including special delivery items. In addition, no court action can be taken against the Royal Mail more than 12 months after an item is posted.
Royal Mail has, in some quarters, a poor reputation for losing mail despite their claims that more than 99.93% of mail arrives safely and in 2006 was fined £11.7 million due to the amount of mail lost, stolen or damaged. According to Home Office figures from 2002 up to a million letters a week were lost or delivered to the wrong address.
The former Chief Executive of Royal Mail, Adam Crozier was quoted on various occasions as saying that "every single letter is important."
Royal Mail has been at the centre of a number of industrial disputes during its history with the trade union that represents the majority of its workers, the Communication Workers Union (CWU).
Earlier disputes include a seven-week strike in 1971 after a dispute over pay and another strike in 1988 due bonuses being paid to new staff recruited in London and the South East.
Royal Mail suffered national wildcat strikes over pay and conditions in 2003.
In Autumn 2007, disputes over modernisation began to escalate into industrial action. In mid October the CWU and Royal Mail agreed a resolution to the dispute.
In December 2008, workers at Mail Centres affected by proposals to rationalise the number of Mail Centres (particularly in North West England) again voted for strike action, potentially affecting Christmas deliveries. The action was postponed less than 24 hours before staff were due to walk out.
Localised strikes took place across the UK from June 2009 and grew in frequency throughout the summer. A ballot on national industrial action over Royal Mail's failure to reach a national agreement covering protection of jobs, pay, terms and conditions and the cessation of managerial executive action was passed in October, causing a number of two and three-day strikes.
Royal Mail is famous for its custom load-carrying bicycles (with the rack and basket built into the frame), made by Pashley Cycles since 1971. Since 2000, their old bikes have been shipped to Africa by Re~Cycle (10,000 as of 2008[update]). In 2009, Royal Mail announced it was beginning to phase out bicycle deliveries, to be replaced with more push-trolleys and vans. A spokesman said that they would continue to use bicycles on some rural routes, and that there was no plan to phase out bicycles completely.
In addition to running a large number of road vehicles, Royal Mail uses trains, a ship and some aircraft, with an air hub at East Midlands Airport.
The following aircraft are included in the dedicated fleet:
British Airways aircraft are also used for airmail deliveries and bear a small Royal Mail logo towards the rear of the fuselage.
The St HelenaRMS is a cargo and passenger ship that serves the British overseas territory of Saint Helena. It sails between Cape Town and Saint Helena, Ascension Island and occasionally Walvis Bay, Namibia. It also visits the Isle of Portland, England twice per year stopping at Tenerife en route. It is the last dedicated Royal Mail Ship in service.
The London Post Office Railway was axed by Royal Mail in 2003—this had been a network of driverless trains running along a private underground track since 1927.
Daily Mail and General Trust plc is a British media conglomerate, one of the largest in Europe. In the UK, it has interests in national and regional newspapers, television and radio. The company has extensive activities based outside the UK, through DMG World Media and DMG Information. Its biggest markets apart from the UK are in the United States, Central Europe, the Middle East, India and Australia. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange. Viscount Rothermere is the chairman and controlling shareholder of the company. The head office is located in the Northcliffe House in Kensington, London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
The group can trace its origins back to launch of the mid market national newspaper the Daily Mail by Harold Harmsworth and his elder brother, Alfred, in 1896. It was incorporated in 1922 and its shares were first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1932. Harmsworth, who had been elevated to the peerage as Lord Rothermere, was editorially sympathetic to Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists and he wrote an article, "Hurrah for the Blackshirts", in January 1934. Referring to Adolf Hitler's proposed invasion of Czechoslovakia, Rothermere, again writing in the Daily Mail, said in 1938 that "Czechs were of no concern to Englishmen".
After almost 100 years in Fleet Street, the company left its original premises of New Carmelite House in Fleet Street in 1988 to move to Northcliffe House in Kensington. At the same time as the newspapers moved to Kensington, the printing operation for Southern England moved four miles (6 km) away to Surrey Quays. This state-of-the-art printing centre was opened on an 11-acre (45,000 m2) site at Rotherhithe in the London Docklands in 1989.
In mid-2006, the company sold Studygroup, a subsidiary of DMG Information, to CHAMP, an Australian based private equity group.
In November 2012 the company sold Northcliffe Media to Local World.
DMG Media is the national newspaper arm and website publisher of DMGT and publishes the following titles
The London Evening Standard, in modern times the dominant paid-for London-area local newspaper, was owned by Associated until it was sold to Alexander Lebedev in January 2009. Since then it has been made free as of October 2009. Associated News still maintains a minority share.
A team at Surrey Quays co-ordinates the daily printing requirement for newspapers at contract sites in Belfast, Bradford, Bristol, Didcot, Dundee, Glasgow, Newcastle, Plymouth, Southampton, Stoke, and Trafford Park, and abroad in Madrid, Orlando and Tenerife, and magazines with Quebecor and Polestar Group mainly at Corby and Watford.
DMG Media's consumer brand portfolio also includes the recruitment and job search engines Evenbase, Jobsite and Jobrapido.
DMG Broadcasting owns a number of media companies and is the subsidiary of DMGT that controls its British radio, television, film and interactive areas.
DMG Broadcasting owns a 20% stake in ITN (Independent Television News). The current ITN contract for ITV News expires at the end of 2012. On 2 April 2007 ITN signed a deal which superseded the existing contract, worth at least £42m per year. ITV, which owns 40% of ITN, is investing more than £15m to upgrade ITN's newsroom as part of the deal.
DMG also owns 50% of Greenland Interactive, an interactive media and marketing solutions company offering services to agencies, brands, publishers and broadcasters. It is one of the United Kingdom's top five providers of premium rate IVR lines, enabling its customers to deliver a range of interactive services such as voting, competitions, and information and entertainment lines. Established in 1994 Greenland is one of the most experienced companies in the industry with knowledge and experience of successful interactive marketing campaigns.
TV stations operated by DMG are part of Harmsworth TV, including the Performance Channel, and Channel One TV.
dmg :: events was founded in 1989 and now manages over 80 events in up to 25 countries each year. Headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, it is currently active in North America, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia, employing over 300 staff.
DMG Information invests in business to business information-driven companies. It aims to invest in high-growth businesses offering information to niche markets. DMG Information is headquartered in the US, with its main office in Connecticut and other offices in California and Massachusetts. Foremost amongst these are Landmark Information Group, Risk Management Solutions and Environmental Data Resources. In 2006 DMG Information bought Genscape, a US company that supplies information on the energy market for $196m (£110m). Genscape is the market-leading provider of real-time energy generation and transmission information to the energy trading markets in North America and Europe. The company has more than 130 customers, including utilities, investment banks, energy traders and hedge funds. It also has operations in the UK, Australia, France, Germany and India.
Euromoney Institutional Investor plc is the market leader on international financial publishing and event organisation. It's one of Europe's largest business and financial magazine publishers. The company, 70% owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust Group, was founded in 1969. The company owns close to 100 international specialist magazines in finance, energy, aviation, pharmaceuticals and law. Euromoney trains international bankers and securities specialists around the world, runs international conferences, and is very strong in electronic publishing. With offices worldwide, its shares are listed in London and Luxembourg.
Risk Management Solutions (RMS), a catastrophe risk modelling company, is a subsidiary of the DMGT group.
The National Academic Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom. DMGT owns a minority share.
A&N International Media is the Central and Eastern European multimedia arm of the conglomerate.
The head office is located in the Northcliffe House in Kensington, London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. In addition to housing the DMGT head office, the building also houses the offices of The Independent series, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Evening Standard, and Metro.
Mail, or post, is a system for transporting letters and other tangible objects: written documents, typically enclosed in envelopes, and also small packages are delivered to destinations around the world. Anything sent through the postal system is called mail or post.
A postal service can be private or public, though many governments place restrictions on private systems. Since the mid-19th century national postal systems have generally been established as government monopolies with a fee on the article prepaid. Proof of payment is often in the form of adhesive postage stamps, but postage meters are also used for bulk mailing.
Postal authorities often have functions other than transporting letters. In some countries, a Postal Telegraph and Telephone (PTT) service oversees the postal system as well as having authority over telephone and telegraph systems. Some countries' postal systems allow for savings accounts and handle applications for passports.
The practice of communication by written documents carried by an intermediary from one person or place to another almost certainly dates back nearly to the invention of writing. However, development of formal postal systems occurred much later. The first documented use of an organized courier service for the diffusion of written documents is in Egypt, where Pharaohs used couriers for the diffusion of their decrees in the territory of the State (2400 BC).
The first credible claim for the development of a real postal system comes from Ancient Persia, but the point of invention remains in question. The best documented claim (Xenophon) attributes the invention to the Persian King Cyrus the Great (550 BC), while other writers credit his successor Darius I of Persia (521 BC). Other sources claim much earlier dates for an Assyrian postal system, with credit given to Hammurabi (1700 BC) and Sargon II (722 BC). Mail may not have been the primary mission of this postal service, however. The role of the system as an intelligence gathering apparatus is well documented, and the service was (later) called angariae, a term that in time came to indicate a tax system. The Old Testament (Esther, VIII) makes mention of this system: Ahasuerus, king of Medes, used couriers for communicating his decisions.
The Persian system worked on stations (called Chapar-Khaneh), where the message carrier (called Chapar) would ride to the next post, whereupon he would swap his horse with a fresh one, for maximum performance and delivery speed. Herodotus described the system in this way: "It is said that as many days as there are in the whole journey, so many are the men and horses that stand along the road, each horse and man at the interval of a day's journey; and these are stayed neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed".
The economic growth and political stability under the Mauryan empire (322–185 BC) saw the development of impressive civil infrastructure in ancient India. The Mauryans developed early Indian mail service as well as public wells, rest houses, and other facilities for the common public. Common chariots called Dagana were sometimes used as mail chariots in ancient India.
In ancient times the kings, emperors, rulers, zamindars or the feudal lords protected their land through the intelligence services of specially trained police or military agencies and courier services to convey and obtain information through runners, messengers and even through pigeons. The chief of the secret service, known as the postmaster, maintained the lines of communication. . . . The people used to send letters to [their] distant relatives through their friends or neighbors.
In South India, the Wodeyar dynasty (1399—1947) of the Kingdom of Mysore used mail service for espionage purposes thereby acquiring knowledge related to matters that took place at great distances.
By the end of the 18th century the postal system in India had reached impressive levels of efficiency. According to British national Thomas Broughton, the Maharaja of Jodhpur sent daily offerings of fresh flowers from his capital to Nathadvara (a distance of 320 km), and they arrived in time for the first religious Darshan at sunrise. Later this system underwent complete modernization when the British Raj established its full control over India. The Post Office Act XVII of 1837 provided that the Governor-General of India in Council had the exclusive right of conveying letters by post for hire within the territories of the East India Company. The mails were available to certain officials without charge, which became a controversial privilege as the years passed. On this basis the Indian Post Office was established on October 1, 1837.
China has enjoyed postal relay stations since the Han Dynasty (206 BC–AD 220). The first large postal system in the world was established by Ugedei Khan, who was successor of Genghis Khan of Mongolian empire in the 13th century, which territory included China. During the Yuan Dynasty under Kublai Khan, China was integrated first into the much larger Örtöö system of the Mongol Empire.
The first well-documented postal service is that of Rome. Organized at the time of Augustus Caesar (62 BC–AD 14), it may also be the first true][ mail service. The service was called cursus publicus or "Relay" in English and was provided with light carriages called rhedæ pulled by fast horses. Additionally, there was another, slower, service equipped with two-wheeled carts (birolæ) pulled by oxen. This service was reserved for government correspondence. Yet another service for citizens was later added.
Genghis Khan installed an empire-wide messenger and postal station system named Örtöö within the Mongol Empire. During the Yuan Dynasty under Kublai Khan, this system also covered the territory of China. Postal stations were used not only for the transmission and delivery of official mail but were also available for traveling officials, military men, and foreign dignitaries. These stations aided and facilitated the transport of foreign and domestic tribute specifically and the conduct of trade in general. By the end of Kublai Khan's rule there were more than 1400 postal stations in China alone, which in turn had at their disposal about 50,000 horses, 1400 oxen, 6700 mules, 400 carts, 6000 boats, over 200 dogs, and 1150 sheep.
The stations were 25 to 65 kilometres (15 to 40 miles) apart and had reliable attendants working for the mail service. Foreign observers, such as Marco Polo, have attested to the efficiency of this early postal system.
Another important postal service was created in the Islamic world by the caliph Mu'awiyya; the service was called barid, for the name of the towers built to protect the roads by which couriers traveled.
Well before the Middle Ages and during them, homing pigeons were used for pigeon post, taking advantage of a singular quality of this bird, which when taken far from its nest is able to find its way home due to a particularly developed sense of orientation. Messages were then tied around the legs of the pigeon, which was freed and could reach its original nest.
Mail has been transported by quite a few other methods throughout history, including dogsled, balloon, rocket, mule, pneumatic tubes, and even submarine.
Charlemagne extended to the whole territory of his empire the system used by Franks in northern Gaul and connected this service with that of missi dominici.
Many religious orders had a private mail service. Notably, the Cistercians had one which connected more than 6,000 abbeys, monasteries, and churches. The best organization, however, was created by the Knights Templar. The newly instituted universities also had their private services, starting from Bologna (1158).
Widespread illiteracy was accommodated through the service of scribes. Illiterates who needed to communicate dictated their messages to a scribe, another profession now quite generally disappeared.
In 1505, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I established a postal system in the Empire, appointing Franz von Taxis to run it. The Thurn und Taxis family, then known as Tassis, had operated postal services between Italian city states from 1290 onward. Following the abolition of the Empire in 1806, the Thurn and Taxis postal system continued as a private organisation into the postage stamp era before finally being absorbed into the postal system of the new German Empire after 1871.
In the United Kingdom, prior to 1840 the postal system was expensive, confusing and seen as corrupt. Letters were paid for by the recipient rather than the sender, and were charged according to the distance the letter had travelled and the number of sheets of paper it contained. If there is one man who can be said to have changed the face of the postal service forever it is Sir Rowland Hill, with his reforms of the postal system based on the concept of penny postage, and his solution of pre payment. In his proposal Hill also called for official pre-printed envelopes and adhesive postage stamps as alternative ways of getting the sender to pay for the postage, at a time when prepayment was optional, which led to the invention of the postage stamp, the Penny Black.
It was around this time nationalization and centralization of most postal systems took place. Today, the study of mail systems is known as postal history.
The postal system was important in the development of modern transportation. Railroads carried railway post offices. During the 20th century, air mail became the transport of choice for inter-continental mail. Postmen started to utilize mail trucks. The handling of mail became increasingly automated.
The Internet came to change the conditions for physical mail. E-mail (and in recent years social networking sites) became a fierce competitor, but online auctions and Internet shopping opened new business opportunities as people often get items bought online through the mail.
The word mail comes from the Medieval English word male (spelled that way until the 17th century, distinct from male), referring to a traveling bag or pack. The French have a similar word, malle for a trunk or large box, and mála is the Irish term for a bag. In the 17th century, the word mail began to appear as a reference for a bag that contained letters: "bag full of letter" (1654). Over the next hundred years the word mail began to be applied strictly to the letters themselves, and the sack as the mailbag. In the 19th century the British usually referred to mail as being letters that were being sent abroad (i.e. on a ship), and post as letters that were for localized delivery; in the UK the Royal Mail delivers the post, while in the USA the US Postal Service delivers the mail. The term e-mail (short for "electronic mail") first appeared in 1982. The term snail-mail is a retronym to distinguish it from the quicker e-mail. Various dates have been given for its first use.
Modern mail is organized by national and privatized services, which are reciprocally interconnected by international regulations, organizations and international agreements. Paper letters and parcels can be sent to almost any country in the world relatively easily and cheaply. The Internet has made the process of sending letter-like messages nearly instantaneous, and in many cases and situations correspondents use electronic mail where previously they would have used letters. Though the volume of paper mail continues][ to increase, the number of first class mail pieces sent in the United States peaked in 2001.
Some countries have organized their mail services as public limited liability corporations without a legal monopoly.
The worldwide postal system comprising the individual national postal systems of the world's self-governing states is co-ordinated by the Universal Postal Union, which among other things sets international postage rates, defines standards for postage stamps and operates the system of International Reply Coupons.
In most countries a system of codes has been created (they are called ZIP Codes in the United States, postcodes in the United Kingdom and Australia, and postal codes in most other countries), in order to facilitate the automation of operations. This also includes placing additional marks on the address portion of the letter or mailed object, called "bar coding." Bar coding of mail for delivery is usually expressed either by a series of vertical bars, usually called POSTNET coding, or a block of dots as a two-dimensional barcode. The "block of dots" method allows for the encoding of proof of payment of postage, exact routing for delivery, and other features.
The ordinary mail service was improved in the 20th century with the use of planes for a quicker delivery. The world's first scheduled airmail post service took place in the United Kingdom between the London suburbs of Hendon, North London, and Windsor, Berkshire, on 9 September 1911. Some methods of airmail proved ineffective, however, including the United States Postal Service's experiment with rocket mail.
Receipts services were made available in order to grant the sender a confirmation of effective delivery.
Worldwide the most common method of prepaying postage is by buying an adhesive postage stamp to be applied to the envelope before mailing; a much less common method is to use a postage-prepaid envelope. Franking is a method of creating postage-prepaid envelopes under licence using a special machine. They are used by companies with large mail programs such as banks and direct mail companies.
In 1998, the U.S. Postal Service authorised the first tests of a secure system of sending digital franks via the Internet to be printed out on a PC printer, obviating the necessity to license a dedicated franking machine and allowing companies with smaller mail programs to make use of the option; this was later expanded to test the use of personalised postage. The service provided by the U.S. Postal Service in 2003 allows the franks to be printed out on special adhesive-backed labels.
In 2004 the Royal Mail in the United Kingdom introduced its SmartStamp Internet-based system, allowing printing on ordinary adhesive labels or envelopes. Similar systems are being considered by postal administrations around the world.
When the pre-paid envelope or package is accepted into the mail by an agent of the postal service, the agent usually indicates by means of a cancellation that it is no longer valid for pre-payment of postage. The exceptions are when the agent forgets or neglects to cancel the mailpiece, for stamps that are pre-cancelled and thus do not require cancellation and for, in most cases, metered mail. (The "personalised stamps" authorized by the USPS and manufactured by Zazzle and other companies are in fact a form of meter label and thus do not need to be cancelled.)
Documents should generally not be read by anyone other than the addressee; for instance, in the United States of America it is a violation of federal law for anyone other than the addressee and the government to open mail. There are exceptions though: executives often delegate to secretaries or assistants the task of dealing with their mail; and postcards do not require opening and can be read by anybody. For mail contained within an envelope, there are legal provisions in some jurisdictions allowing the recording of identities of sender and recipient.
The privacy of correspondence is guaranteed by the constitutions of Mexico and Brazil, and is alluded to in the European Convention of Human Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The control of the contents inside private citizens' mail is censorship and concerns social, political, and legal aspects of civil rights. International mail and packages are subject to customs control, with the mail and packages are often surveyed and their contents sometimes are edited out (or even in).][
There have been cases over the millennia of governments opening and copying or photographing the contents of private mail. Subject to the laws in the relevant jurisdiction, correspondence may be openly or covertly opened, or the contents determined via some other method, by the police or other authorities in some cases relating to a suspected criminal conspiracy, although black chambers (largely in the past, though there is apparently some continuance of their use today) opened and open letters extralegally.
The mail service may be allowed to open the mail if neither addressee nor sender can be found, in order to attempt to find either. Mail service may also open the mail to inspect if the materials are hazardous to transport or violate the local law.
While in most cases mail censorship is exceptional, military mail to and from soldiers on active deployment is often subject to surveillance. In active fighting, censorship may be especially strict to hide tactical secrets, prevent low morale from bad news, etc.
Modern alternatives such as the telegraph, telephone, telex, facsimile, and e-mail have reduced the attractiveness of paper mail for many applications. These modern alternatives have some advantages: in addition to their speed, they may be more secure, e.g. because the general public can not learn the sender's address from the envelope, and occasionally traditional items of mail may fail to arrive, e.g. due to vandalism to mailboxes, unfriendly pets, and adverse weather conditions. Mail carriers due to perceived hazards or inconveniences, may refuse, officially or otherwise, to deliver mail to a particular address (for instance, if there is no clear path to the door or mailbox). On the other hand traditional mail avoids the possibility of computer malfunctions and malware, and the recipient does not need to print it out if they wish to have a paper copy.
Physical mail is still widely used for business and personal communications for various reasons including legal requirements for signatures, requirements of etiquette, and the requirement to enclose physical objects. For example, wedding invitations in some countries are customarily sent by mail.
Since the advent of e-mail, which is almost always much faster, the postal system has come to be referred to in Internet slang by the retronym "snail mail". Occasionally, the term "white mail" or "the PaperNet" has also been used as a neutral term for postal mail.
Mainly in the 20th century, experimentation with hybrid mail has combined electronic and paper delivery. Electronic mechanisms include telegram, telex, facsimile (fax), e-mail, and short message service (SMS). There have been methods which have combined mail and some of these newer methods, such as INTELPOST, which combined facsimile transmission with overnight delivery. These vehicles commonly use a mechanical or electro-mechanical standardised writing (typing), that on the one hand makes for more efficient communication, while on the other hand makes impossible characteristics and practices that traditionally were in conventional mail, such as calligraphy.
This epoch][ is undoubtedly mainly dominated by mechanical writing, with a general use of no more of half a dozen standard typographic fonts from standard keyboards. However, the increased use of typewritten or computer-printed letters for personal communication and the advent of e-mail have sparked renewed interest in calligraphy, as a letter has become more of a "special event". Long before e-mail and computer-printed letters, however, decorated envelopes, rubber stamps and artistamps formed part of the medium of mail art.][
In the 2000s (decade) with the advent of eBay and other online auction sites and online stores, postal services in industrialized nations have seen a major shift to item shipping. This has been seen as a boost to the system's usage in the wake of lower paper mail volume due to the accessibility of e-mail.
Online post offices have emerged to give recipients a means of receiving traditional correspondence mail in a scanned electronic format.
Postage stamps are also object of a particular form of collecting, and in some cases, when demand greatly exceeds supply, their commercial value on this specific market may become enormously greater than face value, even after use. For some postal services the sale of stamps to collectors who will never use them is a significant source of revenue for example postage stamps from Tokelau, South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands, Tristan da Cunha, Niuafo´ou and many others. Stamp collecting is commonly known as philately, although strictly the latter term refers to the study of stamps.
Another form of collecting regards postcards, a document written on a single robust sheet of paper, usually decorated with photographic pictures or artistic drawings on one of the sides, and short messages on a small part of the other side, that also contained the space for the address. In strict philatelic usage, the postcard is to be distinguished from the postal card, which has a pre-printed postage on the card. The fact that this communication is visible by other than the receiver often causes the messages to be written in jargon.
Letters are often studied as an example of literature, and also in biography in the case of a famous person. A portion of the New Testament of the Bible is composed of the Apostle Paul's epistles to Christian congregations in various parts of the Roman Empire. See below for a list of famous letters.
A style of writing, called epistolary, tells a fictional story in the form of the correspondence between two or more characters.
A makeshift mail method after stranding on a deserted island is a message in a bottle.
Several countries, including Sweden (1 January 1993), New Zealand (1998 and 2003), Germany (2005 and 2007) and Argentina have opened up the postal services market to new entrants. In the case of New Zealand Post Limited, this included (from 2003) its right to be the sole New Zealand postal administration member of the Universal Postal Union, thus the ending of its monopoly on stamps bearing the name New Zealand.
Letter-sized mail comprises the bulk of the contents sent through most postal services. These are usually documents printed on A4 (210×297 mm), Letter-sized (8.5×11 inches), or smaller paper and placed in envelopes.
Handwritten correspondence, while once a major means of communications between distant people, is now used less frequently][ due to the advent of more immediate means of communication, such as the telephone or e-mail. Traditional letters, however, are often considered to harken back to a "simpler time" and are still used when someone wishes to be deliberate and thoughtful about his or her communication. An example would be a letter of sympathy to a bereaved person.
Bills and invoices are often sent through the mail, like regular billing correspondence from utility companies and other service providers. These letters often contain a self-addressed, envelope that allows the receiver to remit payment back to the company easily. While still very common, many people now opt to use online bill payment services, which eliminate the need to receive bills through the mail. Paperwork for the confirmation of large financial transactions is often sent through the mail. Many tax documents are as well.
New credit cards and their corresponding personal identification numbers are sent to their owners through the mail. The card and number are usually mailed separately several days or weeks apart for security reasons.
Bulk mail is mail that is prepared for bulk mailing, often by presorting, and processing at reduced rates. It is often used in direct marketing and other advertising mail, although it has other uses as well. The senders of these messages sometimes purchase lists of addresses (which are sometimes targeted towards certain demographics) and then send letters advertising their product or service to all recipients. Other times, commercial solicitations are sent by local companies advertising local products, like a restaurant delivery service advertising to their delivery area or a retail store sending their weekly advertising circular to a general area. Bulk mail is also often sent to companies' existing subscriber bases, advertising new products or services.
There are a number of other things almost without any exception sent exclusively as letters through postal services, like wedding invitations.
First-class mail in the US includes postcards, letters, large envelopes (flats) and small packages, providing each piece weighs 13 ounces or less. Delivery is given priority over second-class (newspapers and magazines), third class (bulk advertisements), and fourth-class mail (books and media packages). First-class mail prices are based on both the shape and weight of the item being mailed. Pieces over 13 ounces can be sent as Priority Mail. As of 2011 42% of first-class mail arrived the next day, 27% in two days, and 31% in three. The USPS expected that changes to the service in 2012 would cause about 51% to arrive in two days and most of the rest in three.
In the UK, First Class letters are simply a priority option over Second Class, at a slightly higher cost. Royal Mail aims (but does not guarantee) to deliver all First Class letters the day after postage.
Registered mail allows the location and in particular the correct delivery of a letter to be tracked. It is usually considerably more expensive than regular mail, and is typically used for legal documents, to obtain a proof of delivery.
The United States Postal Service introduced a test allowing "repositionable notes" (for example, 3M's Post-it notes) to be attached to the outside of envelopes and bulk mailings, afterwards extending the test for an unspecified period.
Postal cards and postcards are small message cards which are sent by mail unenveloped; the distinction often, though not invariably and reliably, drawn between them is that "postal cards" are issued by the postal authority or entity with the "postal indica" (or "stamp") preprinted on them, while postcards are privately issued and require affixing an adhesive stamp (though there have been some cases of a postal authority's issuing non-stamped postcards). Postcards are often printed to promote tourism, with pictures of resorts, tourist attractions or humorous messages on the front and allowing for a short message from the sender to be written on the back. The postage required for postcards is generally less than postage required for standard letters; however, certain technicalities such as their being oversized or having cut-outs may result in payment of the first-class rate being required.
Postcards are also used by magazines for new subscriptions. Inside many magazines are postage-paid subscription cards that a reader can fill out and mail back to the publishing company to be billed for a subscription to the magazine. In this fashion, magazines also use postcards for other purposes, including reader surveys, contests or information requests.
Postcards are sometimes sent by charities to their members with a message to be signed and sent to a politician (e.g. to promote fair trade or third world debt cancellation).
Larger envelopes are also sent through the mail. These are often made of sturdier material than standard envelopes and are often used by businesses to transport documents that are not to be folded or damaged, such as legal documents and contracts. Due to their size, larger envelopes are sometimes charged additional postage.
Packages are often sent through some postal services, usually requiring additional postage than an average letter or postcard. Many postal services have limits on what can and cannot be sent inside packages, usually placing limits or bans on perishable, hazardous or flammable materials. Some hazardous materials in limited quantities may be shipped with appropriate markings and packaging, like an ORM-D label. Additionally, because of terrorism concerns, the U.S. Postal Service subjects their packages to various security tests, often scanning or x-raying packages for materials that might be found in biological materials or mail bombs.
Newspapers and magazines are also sent through postal services. Many magazines are simply placed in the mail normally (but in the U.S., they are printed with a special bar code that acts as pre-paid postage - see POSTNET), but many are now shipped in shrinkwrap to protect the loose contents of the magazine. During the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century newspapers and magazines were normally posted using wrappers with a stamp imprint.
Hybrid mail, sometimes referred to as L-mail, is the electronic lodgement of mail from the mail generator’s computer directly to a Postal Service provider. The Postal Service provider is then able to use electronic means to have the mail piece sorted, routed and physically produced at a site closest to the delivery point. It is a type of mail growing in popularity with some Post Office operations and individual businesses venturing into this market. In some countries, these services are available to print and deliver emails to those unable to receive email, such as the elderly or infirm. Services provided by Hybrid mail providers are closely related to that of mail forwarding service providers.
Components of a postal system:
Types of mail bags:
The United States Postal Service's Railway Mail Service
was a significant mail transportation service in the US during the time period from the mid-19th century until the mid-20th century. The RMS, or its successor the Postal Transportation Service (PTS), carried the vast majority of letters and packages mailed in the United States from the 1890s until the 1960s.
George B. Armstrong, manager of the Chicago Post Office, is generally credited with being the founder of the concept of en route mail sorting aboard trains which became the Railway Mail Service. Mail had been carried in locked pouches aboard trains prior to Armstrong's involvement with the system, but there had been no organized system of sorting mail en route, to have mail prepared for delivery when the mail pouches reached their destination city.
In response to Armstrong's request to experiment with the concept, the first railway post office (RPO) began operating on the Chicago and North Western Railway between Chicago and Clinton, Iowa, on August 28, 1864. The concept was quickly seen as successful, and was expanded to other railroads operating out of Chicago, including the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy, Chicago and Rock Island, Pennsylvania and the Erie.
By 1869 when the Railway Mail Service was officially inaugurated, the system had expanded to virtually all of the major railroads of the United States, and the country was divided into six operating divisions. A superintendent was over each division, all under the direction of George B. Armstrong, who had been summoned from Chicago to Washington, D.C. to become general superintendent of the postal railway service. Armstrong served only two years as general superintendent before resigning because of failing health. He died in Chicago on May 5, 1871, two days after his resignation.
Armstrong's successor in Chicago, George S. Bangs, was appointed as the second general superintendent of the postal railway service. Bangs encouraged the use of fast mail trains, trains made up entirely of mail cars, traveling on expedited schedules designed to accommodate the needs of the Post Office rather than the needs of the traveling public.
In 1890, 5,800 postal railway clerks provided service over 154,800 miles (249,100 km) of railroad. By 1907, over 14,000 clerks were providing service over 203,000 miles (327,000 km) of railroad. When the post office began handling parcel post in 1913, terminal Railway Post Office operations were established in major cities by the RMS, in order to handle the large increase in mail volume. The Railway Mail Service reached its peak in the 1920s, then began a gradual decline with the discontinuance of RPO service on branchlines and secondary routes. After 1942, Highway Post Office (HPO) service was utilized to continue en route sorting after discontinuance of some railway post office operations. As highway mail transportation became more prevalent, the Railway Mail Service was redesignated as the Postal Transportation Service.
Abandonment of routes accelerated in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and many of the remaining lines were discontinued in 1967. On June 30, 1974, the Cleveland and Cincinnati highway post office, the last HPO route, was discontinued. The last railway post office operated between New York and Washington, D.C. on June 30, 1977.
A large bust and monument to Armstrong is displayed in the north side of Chicago's Loop Station Post Office. A restored RPO car is displayed as part of the Pioneer Zephyr
at the city's Museum of Science and Industry.
Media related to Railway post offices at Wikimedia Commons
Media related to Postal rail vans at Wikimedia Commons
The Hobbs Act, named after Congressman Sam Hobbs (D-AL) and codified at 18 U.S.C. § 1951, is a U.S. federal law enacted in 1946 that provides:
(a) Whoever in any way or degree obstructs, delays, or affects commerce or the movement of any article or commodity in commerce, by robbery or extortion or attempts or conspires so to do, or commits or threatens physical violence to any person or property in furtherance of a plan or purpose to do anything in violation of this section shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.
Section 1951 also proscribes conspiracy to commit robbery or extortion without reference to the conspiracy statute at 18 U.S.C. § 371. Although the Hobbs Act was enacted as a statute to combat racketeering in labor-management disputes, the statute is frequently used in connection with cases involving public corruption, commercial disputes, and corruption directed at members of labor unions.
The Hobbs Act criminalizes both robbery and extortion, where:
In interpreting the Hobbs Act, the Supreme Court has held that the statute employs the fullest extent of federal authority under the Commerce Clause. Thus, the lower federal courts have recognized that an actual effect on commerce is sufficient to satisfy the federal jurisdictional element even if it is slight or de minimis.
The government will often use the depletion of assets theory to prove the jurisdictional element. Under this theory, interstate commerce is affected when an enterprise, which either is actively engaged in interstate commerce or customarily purchases items in interstate commerce, has its assets depleted through extortion, thereby curtailing the victim's potential as a purchaser of such goods. While the courts have interpreted the jurisdictional element liberally, it is not a formality; courts have drawn a distinction under the depletion of assets theory between individuals and businesses. While depletion of a business' assets is usually sufficient to show an effect on interstate commerce, depletion of an individual's assets generally is not. Representatively, the Second Circuit reasoned in United States v. Perrotta (2002) that making no distinction between individuals and businesses would bring under the ambit of the Hobbs Act every conceivable robbery or extortion.
The Hobbs Act covers extortionate threats of physical, economic and informational harm (i.e. blackmail). To be "wrongful," a threat of physical violence must instill some degree of duress in the target of the extortion. Furthermore, it is unlikely an economic threat is "wrongful" for Hobbs Act purposes unless a defendant purports to have the power to harm another person economically and that person believes the defendant will use that power to deprive him of something to which he is legally entitled. Finally, in the context of blackmail, a Hobbs Act prosecution is probably proper if there is no nexus between the information the defendant threatens to expose and the defendant's claim against the property of the target.
The Hobbs Act also reaches extortionate acts by public officials acting under the color of right. A public official commits extortion under the color of right when he obtains a payment to which he is not entitled knowing that it was made in exchange for official acts. § 1951 therefore not only embraces the same conduct the federal bribery statute (18 U.S.C. § 201) prohibits, it goes further in two ways:
It is important to note, however, that it is irrelevant whether the public official in fact intended to hold up his or her end of the bargain—it is enough that the official had knowledge of the payor's intent to buy official acts. Notwithstanding its potentially broad reach, § 1951 is narrower than § 201 in at least one important respect: Under § 201, both the official receiving a bribe and the person bribing him have committed a federal crime, but, under § 1951, a payor of a bribe is most likely not guilty as an accomplice to extortion.
On February 28, 2006, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Scheidler v. National Organization for Women. The Court's unanimous opinion held that physical violence unrelated to robbery or extortion falls outside the scope of the Hobbs Act, and that the United States Congress did not intend the Act to create a "freestanding physical violence offense." For that reason, the Court held, abortion clinics could not use the Hobbs Act to obtain an injunction against pro-life protesters.
On June 26, 2013, in Sekhar v. United States, the Court ruled that threats to a public official in order to get him to use his non-transferable property (in this case, a general counsel's recommendation to a government official with respect to approving an investment) in a certain way did not constitute "the obtaining of property from another" within the meaning of the Act. The Court reasoned that the defendant did not seek to "obtain" the recommendation from the attorney, but instead wanted the attorney to make the recommendation a certain way, which is the crime of coercion (not proscribed by the Hobbs Act), not extortion (proscribed by the Hobbs Act).
An electronic mailing list or email list is a special usage of email that allows for widespread distribution of information to many Internet users. It is similar to a traditional mailing list — a list of names and addresses — as might be kept by an organization for sending publications to its members or customers, but typically refers to four things: a list of email addresses, the people ("subscribers") receiving mail at those addresses, the publications (email messages) sent to those addresses, and a reflector, which is a single email address that, when designated as the recipient of a message, will send a copy of that message to all of the subscribers.
Electronic mailing lists are usually fully or partially automated through the use of special mailing list software and a reflector address that are set up on a server capable of receiving email. Incoming messages sent to the reflector address are processed by the software, and, depending on their content, are acted upon internally (in the case of messages containing commands directed at the software itself) or are distributed to all email addresses subscribed to the mailing list. Depending on the software, additional addresses may be set up for the purpose of sending commands.
Many electronic mailing list servers have a special email address in which subscribers (or those who want to be subscribers) can send commands to the server to perform such tasks as subscribing and unsubscribing, temporarily halting the sending of messages to them, or changing available preferences. The common format for sending these commands is to send an email that contains simply the command followed by the name of the electronic mailing list the command pertains to. Examples: subscribe anylist or subscribe anylist John Doe. Some list servers also allow people to subscribe, unsubscribe and change preferences through a web-based interface.
Electronic mailing list servers can be set to forward messages to subscribers of a particular mailing list either individually as they are received by the list server or in digest form in which all messages received on a particular day by the list server are combined into one email that is sent once per day to subscribers. Some mailing lists allow individual subscribers to decide how they prefer to receive messages from the list server (individual or digest).
One type of electronic mailing list is an announcement list, which is used primarily as a one-way conduit of information and can only be "posted to" by selected people. This may also be referred to by the term newsletter. Newsletter and promotional emailing lists are employed in various sectors as parts of direct marketing campaigns.
Another type of electronic mailing list is a discussion list, in which any subscriber may post. On a discussion list, a subscriber uses the mailing list to send messages to all the other subscribers, who may answer in similar fashion. Thus, actual discussion and information exchanges can happen. Mailing lists of this type are usually topic-oriented (for example, politics, scientific discussion, joke contests), and the topic can range from extremely narrow to "whatever you think could interest us". In this they are similar to Usenet newsgroups, another form of discussion group that may have an aversion to off-topic messages.
Discussion lists were popular in the 1990s and early 2000s but their usage has declined in favor of other techniques such as web forums that provide better threading and searching capabilities and are less intrusive than email. ][
On both discussion lists and newsletter lists precautions are taken to avoid spamming.
Discussion lists often require every message to be approved by a moderator before being sent to the rest of the subscribers, although higher traffic lists typically only moderate messages from new subscribers, and only then for a time. Companies sending out promotional newsletters have the option of working with whitelist mail distributors, which agree to standards and high fines from ISPs should any of the opt-in subscribers complain. In exchange for their compliance and agreement to prohibitive fines, the emails sent by whitelisted companies are not blocked by spam filters, which can often reroute these legitimate, non-spam emails.
Some mailing lists are open to anyone who wants to join them, while others require an approval from the list owner before one can join. Joining a mailing list is called "subscribing" and leaving a list is called "unsubscribing".
A mailing list archive is a collection of past messages from one or more electronic mailing lists. Such archives often include searching and indexing functionality. Many archives are directly associated with the mailing list, but some organizations like Gmane collect archives from multiple mailing lists hosted at different organizations; thus, one message sent to one popular mailing list can end up in many different archives. Gmane had archives of over 9000 mailing lists as of 16 January 2007. Some popular free software programs for collecting mailing list archives are Hypermail, MHonArc and FUDforum.