Sunday, September 16, 2007

Gigantic Lickin' Bee at South Whitley (1905)

Columbia City Commercial Mail ~ Friday, September 29, 1905

The biggest "lickin' bee" that ever happened in Whitley county will begin in South Whitley Oct. 2nd when the stupendous task will begin in the postoffice at that place of mailing 3,000,000 pieces of mail matter within the short period of sixty days. The weight of the matter to be mailed in that time will aggregate 562,500 pounds. The services of forty women will be required to wrap the matter for mailing and attach the postage stamps. the matter to be mailed consists of almanacs issued by the Dodd Medicine Co., of Buffalo, and two pamphlets weighing less than two ounces will be wrapped together and a one cent stamp attached to each package so wrapped. This will require "licking" at a rate of about 60,000 licks per day for the girls engaged to perform that fasten-ating task.

Postmaster Grahm will appoint four men as mailing clerks whose business it will be to sort and sack the stuff for the draymen to haul to the railway stations from the Atoz printing plant where the wrapping and mailing will be done in a special postal sub-station temporarily established for the purpose. The drayage of the matter to the railway stations will be let by contract to the lowest bidder and Russell McConnel, J. K. Vance and Clem Foster have filed bids on the job.

The stamps will be pre-cancelled on a printing press in sheets under special contract at the expense of the postoffice department, and $30,000 worth of ordinary one cent postage stamps will be required for this service which will be furnished through the South Whitley post office. The entire summer has been required to print the matter and address it and it will be sent to all parts of the United States and Canada.

Chief Clerk Huber of the railway mail service and Guy T. Gould of Chicago were in South Whitley this week and arranged all details and contracts for performing the gigantic undertaking in the time specified.

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