Postal friendships

“I recently read Helene Hanff’s delightful,  84 Charing Cross Road, the story of the friendship that develops between Helene Hanff, an outgoing American literary woman and Frank Doel (married to an Irish wife Nora) employee and senior buyer at a traditional English bookshop on the Charing Cross road in London. The mood of a rather dreary and exhausted London, where rationing still prevails after the war, stands in marked contrast to the colour, energy and prosperity of New York. It’s a charming little tale of how letters and the  efficiency of the Post Office’s book-post service gradually manage to turn a routine business inquiry into friendships that last a lifetime.”

– Stephen Ferguson, Assistant Company Secretary

Book Cover

Recommended by Stephen Ferguson

Merry Christmas

This year we are not only celebrating Christmas but also two hundred years since the foundation stone of the GPO was laid in 1814. There will be free entry to the An Post Museum from the 8th December till Christmas Eve so do come and take a look at our exhibition, Letters, Lives & Liberty, and if you drop in at lunch-time, you’ll also be able to join in with the traditional carol singing in the Public Office.

Have a very Happy Christmas.

An Post Museum and the GPO are closed Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Keep an eye on this page and our social media channels to keep up to date with details for events at the An Post Museum – GPO Dublin.

The postage stamp and the personal touch

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The last few weeks have been busy ones for the postage stamp. First introduced in 1840 to show that postage had been paid on a letter, this small rectangular piece of paper is particularly busy during Christmas and New Year.

Certainly, the introduction of email and text messages allows a wider range of options for communication but for many people, the humble stamp is still first choice to convey letters and messages of goodwill throughout the globe.

Apart from stamp design and the obvious attraction for collectors there is more importantly the personal touch associated with the stamp. There is the care and preparation that someone takes in putting pen to paper, the eager anticipation waiting for that envelope to drop through the letterbox and the knowledge that it has been handled by loved ones hands – modern technology has its place but it doesn’t offer this!

Parcel Post – Eggs label

Image of the Month – March

It was once very common to send food through the post in Ireland. Turkeys and geese at Christmas will be remembered by some people but game, rabbits and, of course, eggs, could also be sent. There were strict regulations, of course, about how things should be packed and, in the case of eggs, a rigid box with partitions for each egg would be used. The spaces around the eggs were to filled up with “newspaper or cotton waste” and the parcel marked clearly “EGGS”.

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To make it easier for customers, the Post Office supplied a special pink label like this one which dates from 1946. With the eggs carefully packed and the label on the outside, the eggs were ready to make their way by post from the farmer’s coop to the breakfast table!