As mail grew in popularity, the number of men required to collect, sort and deliver it increased exponentially. The expansion of the Victorian mail service led to a great profusion of different grades of employment, and a complicated hierarchy, with letter carriers, messengers and porters. The number of staff grew from about 20,000 in 1850, to 100,000 in 1890. At its peak in 1975, the company employed 456,056 making it one of the largest employers in the country. A career within the service was sought after as it offered reasonable wages, steady employment and was often recommended to other members of the same family.
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