While the development of good courier services in Boston have excelled, animals have been allowed to retire on our couches after being used as couriers for years. We mentioned carrier pigeons during The Great War before, but it wasn’t just pigeons that humans have used (or attempted to) for fast delivery. Convenience and speed have always been important when delivering packages, especially medical packages. That is why, at Fleet Couriers, we would like to remember where couriers came from to get us to where we are today. Some of these animals may just surprise you too!
Let’s start off with some that seem almost second nature for mail delivery.
Starting off with one that everyone knows, we can talk about the pigeon. Homing pigeons were actually very usful. Like their name insinuates Homing Pigeons could actually be trained to find their nest so they could always find their way back. Used during the world wars, homing pigeons were useful to send letters to base if that was where their trained home was.
While no one wants dog slobber on their mail and sometimes they would just be too happy to run that we may never have gotten the mail, for years in Alaska and Canada sled dogs we used to help couriers deliver mail. Much like with the Iditarod the dogs would be hooked up and drive the sled through the snow so that the mail could get there. In Siberian like areas where there is a great deal of snow it was the most efficient way to get mail from point A to point B.
Think the Pony Express. Like with dogs, you wouldn’t want the horse actually holding your mail and they would probably run off at the first taste of freedom. But with a courier on their back they were the fastest way across the Midwest during the 1800s. While the Pony Express didn’t last long before more efficient ways of delivery mail came about it was fast and they actually only lost 2 letters in their whole delivery system.
Now that we covered the ones that are memorable for their contributions in the advancement of courier services, we can move on to some of the more interesting animals that have ever helped with delivery.
The thought of reindeer helping to deliver packages is an old one. When you think of reindeer it is usually magic reindeer that can fly. This is not the truth obviously but in Alaska for a while, reindeer were used to help deliver mail as well. When Chukchi reindeer were brought to Alaska in 1891, Sheldon Jackson believed that they could solve some of the problems with post deliveries. Thus in 1892, Teller Reindeer station was opened and the uses of reindeer expanded in Alaska. While their use for delivery was short ultimately, it was still a part of courier history.
If their relative the horse can deliver mail so can the mule. In the Grand Canyon over 15 years ago a man was using his mule to deliver into an Indian Reservation where the USPS and other delivery services wouldn’t tread. For those that live within the canyon this is the only way down on the trails. Read the whole story here about how this man continues to allow these natives to continue living in their home.
Yes, a town in Belgium decided to try their hand at using cats for a delivery service. With the letters tied around their necks they sure must have looked cute, but knowing the nature of cats, this venture did not last long. The town of Liege, Belgium used 37 cats to help deliver the post in the 1870s. The timing wasn’t the greatest with the cats some taking a day to deliver home, but it was a cute idea while it lasted.
While it seems like common sense for areas where camels were the better means of transportation, it is still a cool use for a cool creature. While the camels could pull or carry the bags on their humps the deliveries were made much faster than by food. In Australia they even did a “camel train” with the last one documented in 1925.
While these animals all actually delivered mail, the one that we dream up in fantasy to help deliver mail were owls. Out of all the animals that humans have dreamed to deliver mail, this one actually hasn’t happened yet.
Having animals come to your door would be a great way to get your bills or any fun delivery, but couriers in Boston can do the delivery faster, and with less clean up later. Fleet Couriers isn’t being replaced with animals anytime soon so you can keep using us for all your needs.
Call Fleet Couriers today to schedule your delivery. Available 24 hours at 800-734-9309 and at fleetcouriers.com.