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It Was Once Legal to Mail Children

A photo has been making the social media rounds that has many people's jaws dropping in disbelief. Taken in 1913, it is an image of a postal worker with a baby in his mail bag. While it is most likely that these pictures were staged, it still depict a small piece of American history when it was technically legal to mail children under 11 pounds through the postal service.

While it rarely actually happened, there are several recorded instances of parents putting a stamp on their baby and sending it a mile down the road to Grandma, for instance, with the local mail carrier. In 1913, the New York Times reported:

Vernon O. Lytle, mail carrier on rural route No. 5, is the first man to accept and deliver under parcel post conditions a live baby. The baby, a boy weighing 10-3/4 pounds, just within the 11 pound weight limit, is the child of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Beagle of Glen Este. The boy was well wrapped and ready for "mailing" when the carrier received him to-day. Mr. Lytle delivered the boy safely at the address on the card attached, that of the boy's grandmother, Mrs. Louis Beagle, who lives about a mile distant. The postage was fifteen cents and the parcel was insured for $50.

Obviously, it didn't take long for a law to be passed prohibiting children from being shipped via mail.

How crazy is that?!

With the cost of stamps these days, imagine how expensive it would be to ship your 9-month-old down the street now!

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