ON THIS DATE in 1907, a pair of teenagers formed a messenger service in Seattle that we now know as United Parcel Service, or UPS.
James E. Casey, nineteen, and Claude Ryan, eighteen, originally called their company American Messenger Service. Operating out of a 6-by-17 foot room beneath a tavern run by Ryan’s uncle, they employed six bicycle riders to deliver messages and packages throughout Seattle.
By the end of 1912, Casey and Ryan employed 100 messengers. Ryan sold his shares in the company in 1917, two years before the business expanded to Oakland, California, and took the name United Parcel Service.
By 1930, UPS was operating in cities all over the West Coast, as well as New York City. Stressing efficiency and courtesy, the company was able to serve every address in America by 1975. Thirty years later, UPS had gone global, delivering nearly 16 million packages and documents worldwide each day to more than 200 countries and territories.