Sometimes you look at ideas that people tried and wonder “what were they on?”
On this day in 1959 the US Postal Service and the US Navy cooperated in the one and only launch of “Missile Mail”. The Submarine USS Barbero launched a Regulus cruise missile towards the Naval Auxiliary Air Station in Florida.
US postmaster general Arthur Summerfield said “before man reaches the moon, mail will be delivered within hours from New York to California, to Britain, to India or Australia by guided missiles. We stand on the threshold of rocket mail.”
Sadly the idea never took off (boom boom) much to the relief of the modern day Israeli Postal service. Today mail travels from New York to California in the blink of an eye. Email is faster than a rocket, safer than a rocket, not as exciting as a rocket.
Time of the Missile; by George Oppen
I remember a square of New York’s Hudson River glinting between warehouses.
Difficult to approach the water below the pier
swirling, covered with oil the ship at the pier
a steel wall: tons in the water,
the hand for holding,
legs for walking,
the eye sees! It floods in on us from here to Jersey tangled in the grey bright air!
Become the realm of nations.
My love, my love,
we are endangered
totally at last. Look
anywhere to the sight’s limit: space
which is viviparous:
Place of the mind
and eye. Which can destroy us,
re-arrange itself, assert
its own stone chain reaction.