From Horse-Drawn Carriages to the Rural Package Delivery Box

Rural Package Delivery Box

The landscape of rural package delivery has transformed significantly over the centuries, adapting to the needs of communities residing in remote areas. From the early days of horse-drawn carriages to the advent of modern innovations like rural package delivery box, the evolution of rural package delivery has been a fascinating journey. In this blog, we will delve deeper into the historical milestones that have shaped this essential service, enabling the seamless delivery of goods to even the most isolated corners of the world.


Horse-Drawn Carriages: Pioneers of Rural Delivery

In the days of yore, rural package delivery relied on the trusty horse-drawn carriages, much like the one used by letter carrier August Edinger in Kimmswick, Missouri (“Mail Wagon Used for Rural Delivery in Missouri..”). For over two decades, this dedicated mail carrier maneuvered the wagon through the countryside, ensuring that mail reached its intended recipients. The carriage was equipped with sliding doors, allowing for ventilation during the sweltering summers, while a small coal stove inside provided much-needed warmth during the harsh winters.

This method of rural delivery gained even more significance with the institution of Rural Free Delivery (RFD) by the U.S. Post Office in 1896. The RFD system played a vital role in alleviating the sense of isolation experienced by rural Americans, connecting them to the rest of the nation. Moreover, it had a profound impact on the growth of mail-order businesses, allowing merchants to extend their reach to previously inaccessible rural markets. Horse-drawn carriages, guided by skilled carriers like August Edinger, laid the groundwork for the evolution of rural package delivery and played a significant role in fostering connections between rural communities and the wider world.


The Birth of Postal Services: Bridging the Rural Divide

With the establishment of formal postal services in the 17th and 18th centuries, rural package delivery took a significant leap forward. Post offices acted as central hubs for package sorting and distribution, dispatching couriers on horseback to deliver parcels to rural recipients. The expansion of postal services brought standardized rates and improved coordination, enhancing the efficiency of deliveries. This advancement not only improved the efficiency of deliveries but also helped foster connections between rural communities and the urban centers, facilitating the exchange of information and goods.


Railways and Rural Reach

The 19th century witnessed a revolution in transportation with the advent of railways. This mode of transport enabled packages to be shipped long distances at unprecedented speed. Railways connected urban centers to rural areas, facilitating more efficient and rapid deliveries. Rural depots and local stations became crucial in ensuring goods reached even the remotest parts of the country. The introduction of the Rural Free Delivery (RFD) system in the United States in the late 1800s, wherein mail was delivered directly to rural homes via railway routes, further revolutionized rural package delivery and contributed to rural development (“Rural Free Delivery - Who we are”).


Motor Vehicles: Expanding Horizons

In 1899, an electric automobile collected the mail from 40 mailboxes in Buffalo, New York in an hour and a half—less than half the time of a horse-drawn wagon, revolutionizing rural package delivery once again (Pruitt). Motor vehicles replaced horse-drawn carriages and horseback riders, bringing higher capacities and faster deliveries. The use of automobiles (both electric and gas-powered) increased after 1913 and by 1933 only 2 percent of urban postal vehicles were horse-drawn; this transition allowed for more regular and reliable deliveries, fostering economic growth in rural regions (Pruitt). With the growth of the suburbs in the 1950s, city routes were motorized for the first time, with Jeeps, sit-stand trucks and small vehicles known as “mailsters” among the earliest delivery vehicles (Pruitt).


Air Freight: Reaching New Heights

With the advent of aviation, the delivery landscape transformed once again. Air freight enabled packages to be flown across continents, reducing delivery times drastically. Although initially limited to urban areas, this innovation eventually extended its reach to rural communities through the establishment of small airstrips and landing points. However, air freight remained cost-prohibitive for everyday goods in most rural regions, primarily serving emergency or time-sensitive shipments.


rural package delivery box


The Digital Age: Locking Mailboxes and the Rural Package Delivery Box 

As technology advanced, so did rural package delivery. The digital age introduced the concept of locking mailboxes, representing a significant leap in convenience and security. Locking mailboxes or rural package delivery box, are equipped with electronic access control, allowing packages to be securely stored at recipients' doorsteps. Delivery personnel could drop off parcels even in the absence of the recipient, ensuring a seamless and contactless process. MB Sentinel’s goal of keeping your packages safe from pets or animals, and the elements while having safe access to your deliveries has been met with the rural package delivery box. This product also features:

  • Patented finger bottom design lifts parcels up and out when the door is opened.
  • A keypad controller that secures the door and works well for multiple deliveries.
  • An interior cabinet light comes on when the door is opened.

Drone Delivery: The Future is Here

As we step into the 21st century, the future of rural package delivery has arrived in the form of drone technology. Drones offer the potential to reach even the most remote locations with unparalleled speed and efficiency. Equipped with GPS and automation, these aerial couriers are capable of delivering packages directly to the recipient's location, bypassing traditional road networks. Drone delivery services are being piloted in various regions worldwide, promising to revolutionize rural package delivery once again.



The journey of rural package delivery from horse-drawn carriages to a rural package delivery box is a testament to human ingenuity and the pursuit of efficiency. From the challenges of navigating rugged terrains to the embrace of cutting-edge technologies, each era has played a crucial role in shaping the way we send and receive packages in rural areas. As we look ahead, the constant evolution in delivery methods promises to make rural package delivery more seamless and accessible than ever before, connecting the world one parcel at a time. The integration of smart technologies and the rise of drone delivery ensures that even the most isolated communities can enjoy the benefits of efficient and reliable package delivery services.