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what's a mail stop like in the 80s ?

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Something I need to illustrate is mail stop in the 1980s. While people are on road trip in US, they can get mail while still on the way at specific mail stops.  Does anyone know how that works?

Is it like renting a PO box in other states and ask people send mails to that PO box ? I wasn't able to find much info by googling it ...

Thank you!
#1 - February 23, 2019, 12:01 PM
« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 12:03 PM by hue »

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Wow. I was alive in the 1980s, but I have never heard of that. It sounds useful!
#2 - February 23, 2019, 01:47 PM

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Wow, this is new to me, too. (I was also around for the 80s, but really not old enough to care much about mail.)

I'm wondering if it's what you've described - - having mail temporarily forwarded to a PO Box. Still, I don't know how practical that would be, unless the traveler intended to stay in one location for an extended period...which doesn't really jibe with my understanding of a road trip. Here in New England, USPS PO Boxes lease for six or twelve-month stints.

I'm eager to learn what others know about mail stops!!!

 :getmail

#3 - February 23, 2019, 03:28 PM

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I'm Australian but travelled in the 1990s - not to the USA but South America. I believe there was a worldwide thing called "post restante". This meant that people could write to you c/o "Post Restante, Buenos Aires" (for example). Then you would visit the main GPO (General Post Office) in that city,  go to the "post restante" desk, and search through the box for mail addressed to your name.
I don't know if this helps, but it might. : )
#4 - February 23, 2019, 03:58 PM
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I've never heard of this. It certainly wasn't a well known, highly-used thing in the 80s (at least in the Midwest).  :goodluck
#5 - February 23, 2019, 04:20 PM
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#6 - February 23, 2019, 05:20 PM

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Whenever we travel in the US, we stop our mail. This isn't getting mail sent to where we are going. It's having our mail held at the post office until a specific date. On that date, you can either pick it up or have all of it delivered to your home mailbox. This service keeps the mailbox from overflowing, giving criminals the idea that the home may be empty at that time. I wonder if you're confusing stopping the mail with mail stop.

I'm native to the US and I also have never heard of such a thing. Perhaps it's for people traveling for a much longer time period with no single destination. In general, if you go to a single location for a temporary stay, say six months, you can have your mail forwarded to that location for that time period. At least I think you can do a temporary forwarding.
#7 - February 23, 2019, 09:05 PM
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In Europe, in the late 70s, we were able to have people send letters to an American Express office. They held it until we picked it up. Maybe people did something like that here?
#8 - February 24, 2019, 05:19 AM
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Whenever we travel in the US, we stop our mail. This isn't getting mail sent to where we are going. It's having our mail held at the post office until a specific date.

Good point! In my family, having our mail held is what we always do when we go away.






#9 - February 24, 2019, 07:26 AM

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I wasn't aware of this in the 80s, but it happens today. I was talking to several people a while ago who are all full time RVers. They have sold their homes and live full time in their RVs. They travel around  the country with friends, and I specifically asked them about mail, because I wondered. They said they have per-arranged places they pick it up. I don't know more than that, but I bet if you googled about "full time RV mail pick up", you could probably find something that might help. Of course, it might have looked different in the 80s. I wonder if USPS has any historical information available.
#10 - February 24, 2019, 07:44 AM

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If you want info on postal history in the US, this is the place to look: https://postalmuseum.si.edu/.

Don't ask why I didn't think of it yesterday.

The Smithosian's mission involves getting knowledge out there, so they have a long history of helping with research. Good luck.
#11 - February 24, 2019, 06:29 PM
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Thank you so much everyone! These are definitely very helpful!

 :stars3 :thankyou
#12 - March 04, 2019, 02:52 AM

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"General Delivery"--as I understand it, you could have mail sent to you c/o general delivery at a post office, and the post office would hold it until you called for it. Convenient for long-distance hikers, hitchhikers, travelers who didn't know exactly where in a town they would be staying, or exactly which dates.
For overseas travel, I think American Express provided some sort of similar mail hold and pickup service.
#13 - March 07, 2019, 02:14 PM
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