Way more interesting that you might think. Indeed, it is my second favorite Smithsonian museum.
For starters, the Postal Museum is in a grand building.
And then there’s Owney, a terrier-mix who became the first (unofficial) postal mascot. Owney was also recognized on a Forever stamp, naturally.
One could spend literal (and I do know the meaning of the word) hours poring over the National Stamp Collection. Over the course of my numerous visits I randomly open rows to view the beautiful stamps and read the related stories, like one might browse the “new releases” at a library. I don’t think that’s nerdy. Is it?
The exhibit on the work of postal inspectors was fascinating, featuring the history of the deal begun by Charles Ponzi that now describes financial pyramid schemes; and the complicated situation of investigating Jim Bakker, a fundamentalist preacher who was eventually convicted of tax and mail fraud.
More recently the postal inspectors investigated for nearly a decade the anthrax scare that terrorized the U.S. between late 2001 and 2003. The culprit behind these attacks ultimately committed suicide.
Two final curiosities, the world’s first stamp, issued by Great Britain in 1840; and the U.S.’s first stamps from 1847.
The Postal Service is more interesting than you first thought, right?