Private letter, 1853

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Until the 20th century, the post office had a monopoly on the transportation of messages, mainly in correspondence by letter. This example is a private letter from 1853, sent from Trieste to Villach.

Sending a letter today often takes longer than one or two days - which cannot be compared to electronic mail. The situation was different, however, in the mid-19th century: Over long distances, the private or official sending of letters through messengers travelling by coach and horses was the quickest possible way to communicate, apart from telegraphic communication, which had just been introduced and was very costly.

The archive of the former Austrian "Post and Telegraph Museum" is home to an extensive collection of correspondence media, primarily letters and cards, subdivided into letters with and without stamps. The collection of letters provides information on the 17th and 18th centuries, but mainly on the postal system in the 19th and early 20th centuries. There are over 6,000 archive holdings. There is less documentation of the content of the letter sent than of the type of dispatch (such as recorded delivery), franking (stamps), special features (such as seals) and postmarks appearing on the letter.



Inv.Nr. PA-Brw-000012
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