Vive La Poste
Q. In the ceiling of the lobby of the main post office on Eighth Avenue in Midtown, there is a huge pair of letters, “RF,” in the mosaic. Who, or what, is RF?
A. République Française!
The ornate ceiling design in the 1913 General Post Office, now the James A. Farley Post Office — designed by the firm McKim, Mead & White — is divided into sections. In the center of each section is a seal of one of the first nations in the Universal Postal Union, the organization, created in 1874 in Switzerland, that standardized the rules and rates for delivering mail across national borders. There are 10 seals.
The reader, of course, has been looking at the seal for France. Those initials often appear on early French postage stamps.
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