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Crowds lining up to get their letters and newspapers at the post office on Pike and Clay Streets in San Francisco, California, ca. 1850. This was a decade before the East and West Coasts were linked by rail and telegraph. Besides getting news through the mails, note the many conversations people were having while they did so.

Image: Library of Congress PPOC, https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2012645628/