National Postal Museum Receives Gift from Lockheed Martin
WASHINGTON, DC, 18-APR-00 -- The Smithsonian Institution's National Postal Museum today (April 18) announced that it received a $125,000 gift from the Lockheed Martin Foundation and Lockheed Martin Postal Systems, a business unit of Lockheed Martin Corp., to create a new exhibit devoted to postal automation. The exhibition, slated to open in 2002, will use state-of-the-art interactive technology to explain how America's mail is processed. The postal automation exhibit is being planned and developed in conjunction with the National Postal Museum Director's Council, a group of 35 representatives from the mailing industry, chaired by former Postmaster General Paul Carlin. The council, which includes a representative of Lockheed Martin, has developed a comprehensive exhibition plan that will allow visitors to experience the movement of a piece of mail through the mail system. This experience will include a virtual reality ride through mail processing equipment.
The Smithsonian was founded through private philanthropy, and gifts such as that provided today by Lockheed Martin are essential to the Smithsonian Institution's ability to continue to serve the American people, said James Bruns, director of the Postal Museum. Contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations have helped to build the Institution's vast national collections and to provide support for long-term research, the creation of innovative exhibits, and the development of educational initiatives. Lockheed Martin's gift represents a significant corporate commitment to the Smithsonian's ability to tell the story of postal automation.
Lockheed Martin Postal Systems is a leading producer of the high-technology products and systems used in the postal automation process. Thousands of the company's letter, flats and parcel separating systems are in use domestically and internationally. Mailers and postal customers worldwide depend on postal programs from Lockheed Martin.
Lockheed Martin is proud to be a primary partner supporting the U.S. Postal Service in automation strategies to enhance customer service, said Michael Shoultz, president of Lockheed Martin Postal Systems. Our commitment to postal automation is seminal to our business existence. For more than a decade, we've been working with the Postal Service to streamline letter and parcel sorting, to automate address recognition, and to bundle and distribute mail more efficiently. Because our business heritage is closely coupled with the Postal Service's automation history, we're proud to help bring this compelling story of innovation and integration to the public.
The National Postal Museum showcases the largest and most comprehensive collection of stamps, philatelic materials and postal history artifacts in the world. With more than 40 interactive games and touch screens, the museum offers hands-on exhibits geared for a family audience. Galleries explore such topics as the Colonial Post, the Pony Express, mail transportation, the art of letter writing, and the beauty and lore of stamps. The museum occupies the lower level of the former Washington City Post Office Building, next to Union Station on Capitol Hill. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free.