Nostalgia: how did La Poste deliver mail to you in your day?

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This is one of the first changes of the year in France. From March 2023, La Poste has announced that it will set up a new experiment in mail delivery. According to information from franceinfo, the service plans to eliminate the daily rounds of postmen in 68 French localities.

The goal by spring? “Reorganize the mail distribution rounds”, explain our colleagues from the information site. While several cities in France are affected by this announcement, this change risks upsetting the habits of many French people, who are very attached to this local service. In some isolated villages, some would no longer be able to meet their postman who had come to distribute their mail, parcels or even chat with them during their rounds.

Another development recorded by La Poste since January 1, 2023: the removal of the priority stamp, or red stamp, in favor of a digital version to frank your mail. However, this is not the first time that this postal service has experienced many upheavals. It must even be said that this intuition has changed enormously since the creation of post offices in 1476.

Initiated by Louis XI in the 15th century, these courier deliveries would later see the creation of the “letter post” at the beginning of the 17th century. Over time, we came to know the Posts, Telegraphs and Telephones (or PTT) with its own ministry in the 19th century. Since then, the postal service has been modernized and has undergone many changes to improve delivery to fellow citizens.

But, do you know how postmen delivered mail to your ancestors in the countryside? By what means of transport? What technological developments over time? To find out how the Post Office tour used to take place throughout France, Planet found some archive photos and videos. Focus in pictures in our slideshow.