In 1913 it was legal to mail children. With stamps attached to their clothing, children rode trains to their destinations, accompanied by letter carriers. One newspaper reported it cost fifty-three cents for parents to mail their daughter to her grandparents for a family visit. As news stories and photos popped up around the country, it didn't take long to get a law on the books making it illegal to send children through the mail.Snopes.com, the investigator of wild and wooly Internet assertions, offers a more interesting back-story. Yes, it was legal for a while to ship kids, though the pictures above are most likely light-hearted representations of that truth. Kids were most often shipped, when they were, over short distances. They needed to weigh less than 11 pounds in compliance with Parcel Post regulations. When the kids were shipped long distances, it saved the money that might otherwise be spent on a rail ticket.
Vernon O. Lytle, mail carrier on rural route
No. 5,is the first man to accept and deliver under parcel post conditions a live baby. The baby, a boy weighing 10-3/4 pounds, just within the 11 poundweight limit, is the child of Mr. and Mrs. JesseBeagle of Glen Este. The boy was well wrapped and ready for "mailing" when the carrier received him to-day. Mr. Lytledelivered the boy safely at the address on the card attached, that of the boy's grandmother, Mrs. LouisBeagle, who lives about a mile distant. The postage was fifteen cents and the parcel was insured for $50. [New York Times]