[Air-l] You Got Mail (before Internet)

Naomi Susan Baron nbaron at american.edu
Wed Nov 13 19:28:09 PST 2002

Nancy Baym's right: multiple daily mail deliveries were common in 19th c
London (not to mention in other parts of the world, such as the large
cities in India, well into the 20th c). It's also important to remember
that besides such "public" mail deliveries, it was quite common to have
servants, messenger boys, and the like (a street urchin would do in a
pinch) deliver letters across town quite regularly. As the telegraph was
introduced (and then became increasingly affordable and accessible),
telegrams were sent across town, from business to business, or from
business to home (for those wealthy enough to have home access) for many of
the same sorts of reasons we send emails to local recipients.


Naomi Baron
Professor of Linguistics
American University
Washington, DC  20016-8045

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