one of the executive departments of the United States government; established in 1794. It is under the management of the Postmaster-General, who since the time of Andrew Jackson, has been a member of the President's Cabinet. He is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The department is divided into four great bureaus each under the immediate charge of an assistant postmaster-general. The first assistant's bureau has charge of the large clerical and carrier forces and all the matters of annual management. It supervises an annual expenditure of more than $40,000,000. The bureau of the second assistant has the immense task of providing for the transportation of the mails at a yearly cost of $35,000,000. That of the third assistant looks after the financial side, furnishes the stamps, and keeps the accounts. The fourth assistant has charge of the appointment of 75,000 postmasters and directs the force of inspectors. The United States postoffice department, unlike that of Great Britain, is carried on at a loss; this is due to the large amount of postal matter of certain classes carried at less than the cost of conveyance and distribution. The greatest revenue in a single year has reached $203,562,383; and the greatest expenditure, $221,004,102.
Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.