A post office is a public department that provides a customer service to the public and handles their mail needs. Post offices offer mail-related services such as acceptance of letters and parcels; provision of post office boxes; and sale of postage stamps, packaging, and stationery. In addition, many post offices offer additional services:
providing and accepting government forms (such as passport applications), processing government services and fees (such as road tax), and banking services (such as savings accounts and money orders). The chief administrator of a post office is called a postmaster.Prior to the advent of postal and ZIP codes, postal systems would route items to a specific post office for receipt or delivery.
During the nineteenth-century, in the United States, this often led to smaller communities being renamed after their post offices; particularly after the Post Office Department ceased to permit duplicate station names within a state.
There is evidence of corps of royal couriers disseminating the decrees of the Egyptian pharaohs as early as 2,400 BC and the service may greatly precede even that date. Similarly, organized systems of post houses providing swift mounted courier service seems quite ancient, although sources vary as to precisely who initiated the practice. Certainly, by the time of the Persian Empire, a system of Chapar-Khaneh existed along the Royal Road.