Dogsled mail

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Dogsled mail in Sakhalin, Russian Empire

Dogsled mail or dog team mail is mail carried by dogsled. This form of animal mail transport saw limited use in the northern parts of Alaska, Canada and Russia during the first half of the 20th century.

In the early years of Alaska settlement, there was no regular mail service to the interior post offices during the winter months (October to May), although individuals might agree to transport letters to coastal areas. Regular service seems to have begun around the 1910s. In the 1930s, airplanes began to be used for mail transport, but postmasters were still allowed to use dogs for "emergency mail service", and in the 1940s cachets were produced reading "Alaska Dog Team Post" and depicting a team. The last regular-scheduled dog team route was shut down in 1963, when Chester Noongwook of Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island retired his team.

In recent years, competitive dogsled races have carried some commemorative mail.

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