Victory-Mail Packet

Physical Description
Packet of blue-gray paper with a red border bearing the "V-mail" logo and information.
General History
During World War II, V-Mail became a popular way for soldiers and their loved ones at home to correspond. V-mail was written on specially designed sheets— a combination letter and envelope. These sheets were sent to the government where they were reduced to thumbnail size on microfilm. The microfilm was flown overseas and then developed at a lab close to the recipient's position. The V-mail letter-sheets, now about one-quarter of their original size, were mailed and delivered to the soldiers or their families back home. The development of the V-Mail system reduced the time it took a soldier to receive a letter by a month— from six weeks by boat to twelve days or less by air.
However, the main advantage of V-Mail was its compact nature. Reduction in the size and weight of the letters translated into more space for crucial military supplies on cargo planes. One roll of film weighing about seven ounces could hold over 1,500 letters. Putting that another way, two pounds of microfilm replaced 100 pounds of letters! Over a billion letters were sent via V-Mail between 1942 and 1945. In all, about 556.5 million pieces of V-Mail were sent from the United States to military post offices and over 510 million pieces were received from military personnel abroad. Think of it as the earliest form of e-mail.
Stanley Wessel & Company
place made
United States: Illinois, Chicago
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
red (overall color)
white (overall color)
blue (overall color)
average spatial: 16 cm x 24 cm; x 6 5/16 in x 9 7/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
nonaccession number
Homefront, World War II
related event
World War II
The Great Depression and World War II
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Military
The Price of Freedom: Americans at War
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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