- In the early years, postmen used their personal vehicles to deliver mail.
- By late 1920s the Postal Department developed standardized specifications and requested bids.
- Ford was awarded contracts in 1929 and 1931.
- Wooden-bodied Ford mail trucks like this one were used as late as 1952.
The U.S. Postal Service began using motor vehicles before the turn of the 20th century; though in the early years most vehicles were personally owned by men who contracted to deliver the mail. By the late 1920s, the Postal Department had developed specifications for a standardized mail truck, and advertised for bids. Two contracts for chassis were awarded to the Ford Motor Company, one in 1929, and another late in 1931. The Hoover Body Corporation of York, Pennsylvania, received the 1929 contract to build the 100-cubic-foot capacity bodies.
As recently as 1952, much of the nation’s mail was still being carried in the fleet of rickety, wooden-bodied Model A Fords. Their longevity was a credit to their Government specifications for durable bodies and excellent maintenance.