ID : N-422 Date : 2017/10/09 - 16:25
(Persia Digest) – Is the postal service just a memory or does it live on? It has certainly lost its former glory and function with the advent of email and all manner of internet communications. The long wait for the postman to deliver handwritten letters to our doors is fading away from our lifestyles little by little. The postal service was man’s first means of long distance communication in most countries and it is still the only service that can effectively deliver parcels from one place to another. No internet or social networks are able to achieve such physical transfers.
On 9 October 1874 the Universal Postal Union was established in the Swiss Capital, Bern. This day is celebrated every year and has been named World Post Day. The Universal Postal Union is considered to be the second oldest international organization in the world. Its former name is the General Postal Union. The goal of the Universal Union is to help organize and improve postal services internationally.
One of the oldest, most efficient ways of communicating with the people of other countries is the postal service – a method officially as old as three centuries. Unofficially, carrier pigeons or ‘chapar’ messengers traveling on horses from post to post on the Royal Road in the Persian Empire under the Achaemenid can be used as a more ancient example of the postal services.
As such, the post in Iran dates back to 3000 years ago. Some historians even go as far as naming the Persians as the innovators of the postal service. Nassereddin Shah (1831-1896 CE) ordered the postal service of his time to be re-organized into a Ministry of Posts headed by Amin ol-Molk, already at the head of a council of advisers which was to become the parliament after the Constitutional Movement in Iran.
An upheaval took place in the postal services when Amir Kabir became Prime Minister (in office 1848-1851 CE). The postal activities of colonial governments in Iran were disbanded and replaced by the Iranian postal deliveries that ran with great speed and efficiency.
This long history of postal services means that the National Postal Museum of Iran is now home to all the ancient tools and priceless equipment that have survived from the time of the Persian Empire to modern day services. Some of the oldest writing tools, dispatch equipment, the earliest telephones known as ‘handle’ in Iran with 20 to 30 operator centers, Morse Code telegraphs, stamps, and much more ranging from carrier pigeons to satellites can be seen here. The designer of the museum building was the renowned Nikolai Markov (1882-1957 CE), Iranian architect of Russian descent born in Tbilisi.
The post and customs building is designed in the style of Iran’s national architecture and is a magnificent example of the time of Reza Shah Pahlavi I. Its construction lasted from 1928 to 1934 CE to the tune of 500 thousand tomans in a plot of land measuring 15 thousand square meters on Sepah Street.