The public mail system had its beginning during the 1400s, when King Edward IV of England established a series of post houses for transporting official mail. The American postal system dates back to 1639, when Richard Fairbanks was granted permission to receive and dispatch mail at his home for the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1775, the Second Continental Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin as the first Postmaster General and established the postal system in the American colonies. Franklin completely reorganized the service, making improvements in efficiency, speed, and service.
Since the days of the early American Postal Service, technology has moved forward; the mail system has taken advantage of advances in automation and the speed of the jet age to improve mail delivery. Among the many innovations put in place in recent years are the zip code system; the use of computer sorting, coding, and stamp canceling; and electronic bill paying, stamps, postage, and postmarks.