The United States Postal Service (USPS; also known as the Post Office, U.S. Mail, or Postal Service) is an independent agency of the United States federal government responsible for providing postal service in the United States. It is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution. The U.S. Mail traces its roots to 1775 during the Second Continental Congress, where Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general. The Post Office Department was created in 1792 from Franklin's operation, elevated to a cabinet-level department in 1872, and transformed in 1971 into the U.S. Postal Service as an agency of the U.S. government.
The United States Postal Service employs some 617,000 workers, making it the third-largest civilian employer in the United States and delivers 155 billion pieces of mail annually.The earliest post offices were mail boxes at coffee houses and taverns. These mail boxes collected mail coming and going from Europe. People stopped at the coffee houses to pick up their mail. Later, each community assigned someone the task of postmaster. Benjamin Franklin served for many years as the postmaster for Philadelphia.