This Week in Colorado History: Profit-seeking firms

Everyone has, at some point in time, received mail addressed to someone else. Often, such receipts merit a short gripe about the person who mailed the item or the postal service in general. This frustration is as old as the postal service, according to The Colorado Transcript, which reported on an event entitled “Better Mailing Week” in its February 14, 1924, issue. The event was to take place from February 18 to 25 and encourage “chambers of commerce, boards of trade, large business and industrial enterprises, and the press of the country” to update mailing lists and to have “every check placed against the possibility of letters reaching the postal system without accurate addresses.”

Although the exercise seemed a bit mundane, the Transcript and the postal service took it very seriously.  The Transcript alleged issues with misaddressed mail extended back to the first postmaster general, Benjamin Franklin, and cost tax payers about $1,740,000 per year to provide directory service to an estimated 200,000,000 pieces of mail. The Transcript article reminded business readers of the fact that misaddressed or unaddressed letters or mailings lacking a return address can have a negative impact on mail-order sales. Businesses were reminded that prompt delivery of letters can be very important, and were encouraged to participate in Better Mailing Week.

The same issue also reported on an industrial opportunity in Golden – a new factory to manufacture “mantel and floor tile, face brick, etc.” The proprietor, C.M. Wheeler, had already purchased a building at Twelfth and East Streets and was remodeling it to serve his purposes. He planned to employ approximately five men to begin with and work up to a larger workforce. The venture was forecasted to be successful, as currently Colorado builders had to purchase these tiles from factories in such far-flung areas as West Virginia and Los Angeles. Additionally, Wheeler had “extensive tests made with tiles manufactured out of Golden clay” and found the clay to be “the best he has ever seen for this use.”

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