Then it has to go by air mail, or at least it did in the past. If some post had to get somewhere fast then this was the answer especially as it took so long to get something anywhere by ship, which could take weeks. Airmail was sent on the understanding that at some point it was going to be delivered using an aircraft. It was a different service beyond the traditional methods as using aircraft was quite new and much faster. To send something “Par Avion” (the service for a Universal Postal service was conducted in French as agreed in 1929) would shrink the postal world.
There are several incidences of mail being sent by air before the twentieth century. Homing Pidgeon’s had long been used but you could only send short messages that could fit on the bird’s leg. Packages were a no go as it was impossible to organise the birds to fly together. The very first example of real Airmail was on the 7th January 1785. A letter from William Franklin (the son of North American patriot Ben Franklin) was sent to his son also called William Franklin. It was probably moaning about why he wasn’t writing back and about the British in the USA. It was carried over from Dover to Calais successfully reaching its recipient.
The same balloonist Jean Pierre Blanchard made a bit of career out of delivering letters by White North American Independence heroes as he also took a letter written by George Washington on a flight from Philadelphia to Deptford New Jersey in 1793. This was the first letter delivered by air in North America. Washington hedged his bets a little by addressing it “to whom it may concern” and telling Blanchard to give it to the first person whose backyard he landed in. We don’t know who got it but the look on their face must have been priceless as a Frenchman descended from the skies and then gives them a letter and saying to them “Bonjour! Ceciest de votre President!” The first actual official delivery in North America by John Wise in 1859 although bad weather meant that it had to complete the journey by train.
Using balloons was big part of getting messages out of Paris in the Franco-Prussian war. The Germans surrounding the city could do nothing but watch and fire their ineffective rifles at the balloons overhead as the floated off to the French forces. At least they could console themselves that “Where are you!” and “Send food and troops now!” was probably the only thing that was being sent out.
Airmail opened up the world to Same day Courier Service businesses like http://allaboutfreight.co.uk/same-day-courier-service and have meant that today they can offer their services across the globe as well as in their national and local regions. Who knows where the future will take our beloved courier services?