By Frederick S. Lane
A sweeping tale of the fitting to privateness because it sped alongside colonial postal routes, telegraph wires, and today’s fiber-optic cables on a collision direction with presidents and programmers, librarians and letter-writers.
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Extra info for American Privacy: The 400-Year History of Our Most Contested Right
Both he and the YMCA committee believed that the 1872 Post Office Act was badly flawed, in part because the law contained no prohibition of birth control and other sex aids, and in part because no provision was made for the search and seizure of obscene materials. By contrast, the 1868 New York state law addressed both issues, and Comstock used it as a model for his proposal to Congress. When Comstock arrived in Washington, he discovered that his influential backers in New York had arranged some powerful allies for him.
Post Office came under strong pressure to censor the materials submitted to it for delivery. Nor was the practice restricted to communities in the South: in 1861, after the start of hostilities, postmaster general Montgomery Blair ordered his department to refuse delivery of newspapers sympathetic to the rebellion. ” In a lengthy reply, Blair staunchly defended his decision and said that the Post Office “could not and would not interfere with the freedom secured by law” (specifically, the freedoms of speech and press).
Creswell noted the popularity of postcards in Germany and Great Britain and strongly recommended that the postal laws of the United States be amended to permit their use. S. Post Office entered the postcard business in 1873. Creswell, who resigned in 1874, obviously had some idea of just how popular postcards would be: based on preorders, he had 100 million cards printed for the first year alone. When the cards were first offered for sale in New York City on May 15, 1873, more than 200,000 cards were purchased in the first two hours.
American Privacy: The 400-Year History of Our Most Contested Right by Frederick S. Lane