Before this date, letters and mail existed, but delivery methods were sporadic and took many months. There were not even post offices to deliver to, so mail was often just left at inns and taverns. Benjamin Franklin became postmaster of Philadelphia in 1737, as he began to create vast improvements to the mail system, and he was later officially appointed the first postmaster general in 1775 during the Second Continental Congress. He worked to set up more efficient colonial routes traveling via relay teams both day and night, and he also debuted the first rate chart which standardized delivery prices based on distance and weight.
What Benjamin Franklin started, has made tremendous strides to get to the point where it is today as an independent agency of the United States government, and as one of the few that is explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution. In 2017, there are now over 40,000 post offices in the United States, delivering 212 billion pieces of mail each year to over 144 million locations. Although there have been many advancements in technology offering competitive ways of sending a message, specifically with email, technology has also helped improve mail service efficiency with the creation of letter sorting machines and automation. This universal mail system does not only facilitate general correspondence, but has also played a huge role in strengthening relationships between friends, communities, and businesses around the world. Without the postal system, communication would be greatly limited.