Forget the iPhone – electric mail delivery systems date back earlier than most of us might have believed. A Missouri man invented it first, according to the Savannah Reporter as published in the June 23, 1903 Skidmore Standard:
Invented Electric Mail Delivery System
C. C. Kitterman, of Bolckow, has perfected an invention which will revolutionize the rural mail delivery system and put the carriers out of a job. It is nothing less than an electric mail delivery system, the practicability of which has been thoroughly tested on a small scale. It is operated somewhat upon the principle of the trolley car. Each farmer served will have two boxes. The box containing the mail to be delivered will be dropped, and the box left the day before will be taken up and returned with its contents.
We understand that Dr. E. C. Bennett, A. L. Brumbaugh and perhaps others are financial backers of the inventor, and that arrangements are being made to operate the system upon a large scale should the Government adopt the same. It is thought a large dynamo at each county seat could afford power to serve practically all the farmers in the county within an hour, and there does not seem to be any doubt that it can be done.
This invention opens up a wide field of possibilities in the way of mail delivery, and it may lead to a solution of the problem of quick transportation of larger packages in large cities and between centers of trade. Mr. Kitterman and his backers seem to have a remarkably good thing in prospect.