• FA-110502 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Information & Communication
medien.welten (media.worlds)
1900 - 1909

Klapperpostbote Courier of the Viennese postal service

Fa. Martiner, St. Ulrich/Gröden (around 1900)


Courier mail services

After postmen were initially only responsible for collecting mail consignments, a comprehensive postal delivery service is eventually established.

Legmen, coachmen and raftsmen act as couriers between the capital cities, trading cities and their surrounding areas. Municipal and royal couriers transport documents and business letters to neighbouring government agencies or the next post office. They can be identified by their official emblems, which look like small escutcheons. A spear is issued to couriers, which serves as a support in difficult territory, but also as defence weapon.

For a long time, the sole duty of postmen is only to collect letters and parcels. Long wooden sticks (‘Postvögel’ or ‘Pestvögel’) are used to accept letters from windows which are high up. Initially, consignments must be collected by the recipient at the local post office. In 1772, a private municipal postal service in Vienna starts a collection as well as delivery service. Its couriers carry tin can collection boxes and announce their arrival with a loud rattle. In rural areas, a comprehensive postal delivery service is only introduced in the late 19th century.

Inv.Nr. 54516
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