For a long time the U.S. Post Office delivered only thin letters. So when they first started delivering packages in 1913, people got excited and started mailing all sorts of surprising things – including babies and kids. The first baby was mailed about 1 mile from his parents’ home to his grandmother’s house for 15 cents. The parents did pay an extra $50 to insure him, which means if they lose the package the Post Office owes you the value of the item (we don’t know what they decided that was). $1 buys much less today than back then, so that 15 cents and $50 was like paying $3.60 postage and $1200 insurance today. The Postmaster General finally said, “No mailing humans!”, but it took 2 years to make this a law, and at least 5 more kids had been mailed by then. No kids were actually sealed up in boxes, of course: they traveled with a postman chosen by the parents. The farthest anyone mailed a kid was 721 miles by mail train from Florida to Virginia: just 15 cents for a 50-pound, 6-year-old girl!
Wee ones: If people mailed the 1st baby plus 5 more kids, how many children were mailed in total?
Little kids: If you got mailed 100 miles from home and then mailed back, how far would you have traveled? Bonus: If people started mailing kids in 1913 and it became against the law 2 years later, when was it finally illegal?
Big kids: For how long has the post office been shipping packages, as of now in 2014? Bonus: Back in 1913 it cost a 2-cent stamp to mail 1 ounce. If the baby weighed 10 pounds, what postage should they have charged to ship him? (Reminder: 1 pound has 16 ounces.)
Wee ones: 6 kids in total.
Little kids: 200 miles. Bonus: In 1915.
Big kids: 101 years. Bonus: $3.20, since he weighed 160 ounces.