The Pet Dish

Find posts by keyword
Find posts by date

Print
Email
|

New stamp honors 1880s mail dog

New stamp honors 1880s mail dog

Credit: USPS

by Susan Wyatt

Bio

KING5.com

Posted on July 27, 2011 at 12:24 PM

A stamp commemorating the mascot that provided good luck to the Railway Mail Service in the 1880s debuts today. 

As the story goes, at the height of the Railway Mail Service, clerks in the Post Office in Albany, New York, took a liking to a terrier mix named Owney. Owney followed mailbags onto trains and soon became a good-luck charm to Railway Mail Service employees, who made him their unofficial mascot.

According to the National Postal Museum, more than 80 mail clerks were killed in train wrecks and more than 2,000 were injured between 1890 and 1900. But it was said that no train ever met with trouble while Owney was aboard.

As he traveled the country, clerks affixed medals and tags to his collar to document his travels. He accumulated nearly 1,000 tags.

Mail clerks raised money to have Owney stuffed – and he is now on dispay at  the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. The museum is holding an Owney photo look-alike contest.

The Owney stamps - like all Forever stamps - will always equal the value of the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.

Click to buy stamps

Print
Email
|