My husband is a retired mailman and the trip to DC was his retirement trip, so of course we just had to visit the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.
The National Postal Museum, a Smithsonian Institution museum, is located in the old Post Office building next to Union Station in Washington, D.C. The Museum was created by an agreement between the Smithsonian Institution and the United States Postal Service in 1990 and opened to the public in 1993.
The Museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., except December 25. Admission is free.
As we rode the escalator down to the museum, the first thing that caught my eye was an LLV – Long Life Vehicle. This is the type of vehicle that my husband drove for the last 15 or so of his 29+ years with the United States Postal Service.
Of course they also had a mailbox. For his retirement party I made one of these out of cardboard to hold all his retirement congratulations cards.
My version of the mailbox, which I think turned out pretty good if I do say so myself.
They had lots of cool displays and here are some things that caught my eye.
One of the permanent exhibits that they have, that I particularly enjoyed, was the Mail Call exhibit. Mail Call explores how the military postal system works and why the mail is an important resource. Types of mail, transportation methods, and postal workers have all changed over time. Through innovations in technology and organization, mail has become more diverse and military mail services more reliable.
An example of a “Post Office” on a Navy ship.
This exhibit hit closer to home as I am a military mom. The role of the Post Office takes on a greater importance when the mail becomes one of your primary sources of connecting with your loved one.
One of the activities that they had was a mail sorting “game”. Marvin tried his hand at it and he did pretty good!
I played a “sorting game” with this vintage machine. You had to push certain buttons to sort the mail.
As you can see, I sent most of the letters on the right path. Yea me!!
Marvin posing with Mr. Zip.
Me with Mr. Zip.
We had a lot of fun and if you have time I recommend stopping by as there are lots of interactive displays to enjoy with your family.
- What museums have you seen recently?
- When is the last time you mailed a letter?