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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –

January 28, 2022, 07:03

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In the operating room of the Moscow Post Office on Kirov Street. Author V.V. Egorov. 1950 Main Archive of Moscow

At that time, new post offices were actively opened, additional mailboxes were hung on the doors, and the residents themselves delivered the correspondence.

V Head Archive of Moscow preserved documents that contain information about the development of the postal service in the prewar period.

The need to expand the postal network appeared in Moscow by the end of the 1930s. Then the city was given the status of four million people: there were more apartment buildings on the streets, and their residents wanted to receive the latest newspapers and magazines, receive and send correspondence, and use telegraphs. The volume of work at the post office increased, but there were not enough post offices, as well as personnel.

In January 1940, the Moscow Soviet decided to improve the postal service in Moscow. He released a document that contained a plan for the development of a network of post offices for the coming year. The task was not easy: on January 1, 1940, with a city population of almost 4.2 million people, there were only 157 post offices, each of which served an average of 23,750 people. According to the plan, 20 new post offices were to be opened in a year and four more to be converted. The planners hoped that by January 1 next year, the 182 post offices would be able to better serve the growing population of the capital, because then each of the post offices would already have 23,630 people.

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By the end of the Third Five-Year Plan, such a speed in the development of the postal network should have significantly reduced the number of citizens per branch, and also made it easier for them to receive correspondence. On January 1, 1940, there were 2370 mailboxes in Moscow – one for 1770 people, by the beginning of 1941, after installing an additional 500 boxes, 1500 people already claimed one of them.

The next important task was to ensure timely delivery of mail to citizens. To do this, they decided to resort to an unusual measure: the tenants themselves were involved in delivering newspapers and correspondence to apartments. The idea didn’t come out of nowhere. In 1939, a similar experiment was already taking place, when in the Kiev and Frunzensky districts of the capital, employees of house administrations and tenants with an active position were involved in the distribution of mail. Thanks to this, the situation improved markedly, and the experience of the two districts was recognized as successful. And the postal worker only had to deliver the correspondence to the right building on time.

The executive committees of the district councils were engaged in selecting the largest houses in their area for distribution, and the housing departments equipped places in them for disassembling the brought mail and transferring it to local distributors. To ensure that all letters and newspapers would definitely fall into the hands of the townspeople, in 1940, nine thousand mailboxes were additionally released especially for apartment buildings.

Delivery of mail by residents was a temporary measure, but it proved to be effective in a growing city. Perhaps in the future such a scheme for delivering correspondence would have spread even more widely, but in 1941 new severe tests of strength began for the Moscow Post.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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