Before e-mail, before text, before the smartphone, (see below) the posting of a letter represented state-of-the-art communication. The Royal Mail can trace its history back to 1516, when Henry VIII established a “Master of the Posts” a position that was renamed “Postmaster General” in 1710
Upon his accession to the throne of England at the Union of the Crowns in 1603, James VI (of Scotland) and I (of England) moved his court to London. One of his first acts from London was to establish the royal postal service between London and Edinburgh, in an attempt to retain control over the Scottish Privy Council.
The Royal Mail service was first made available to the public by Charles I on 31 July 1635, with postage being paid by the recipient.
This series of images comes from ‘The Eagle Book For Boys, 1966’
From collection by the man in a van via mailbag and train the images show the passage of a letter from postbox to letterbox.
Now not many people realise it but the mobile phone (see right) also dates back to around this time.
Though cumbersome and somewhat heavy, they had a character all their own! (there were also a number of cabling and networking issues yet to be resolved)
But be that as it may, here is an example of an early smartphone from the mid forties. Naturally advances in technology have reduced component size and improved overall performance but they still possess a charm all of their own!