Photographer unknown

Gunnar Ernst Fredrik Albrecht

Director General 1919–1943

Albrecht (1874–1947), who had worked for the central government for a number of years, knew the Postal Services and the government knew him. He had been involved in many committees handling issues related to the postal services. He was a civil servant and did not stir up too many political controversies. The government wanted to settle things down in the Postal Services, which had faced numerous problems during the Russian oppression. Albrecht was an old-time civil servant, but he was able to face the demands of the modern times. He was a meticulous director and used to bring work home. Albrecht stayed in the position for an additional year because he wanted to carry on until the war was over, but as the war did not end, Albrecht retired during the Continuation War.

Postal History in Finland

  • The Postal Services emblems were nationalised, and the legislation was revised after independence. Yellow was established as the emblem colour.
  • The structure and operations of the Postal Services remained unchanged due to the poor economic situation left by the civil war; there were no funds to renew the organisation.
  • The volume of postal operations grew and expanded. A number of new post offices were set up and the number of items delivered increased.
  • The Postal Services became a more democratic organisation in the 1920s and 1930s. Postage fees dropped and, consequently, more people could afford to send letters.
  • A postal bus service was launched between Rovaniemi and Sodankylä in 1921.
  • Franking machines (Hassler D106) introduced for businesses in 1924.
  • The Post and The Telegraph merged in 1927. The new logo featured the horn with a bundle of lightning bolts.
  • Stamp vending machines were tested in Helsinki in the early 1930s, permanently in use since 1959.
  • The field post operated throughout the war. Tens of millions of items were delivered every year.
  • After the war, air transport became more common.
  • The new main post office building in Helsinki was completed in 1938.
  • Postisäästöpankki introduced Finland's first payment system, the postal money transfer, in 1939.
  • 177.5 million items delivered 56.4/person in 1920 (5.7 million official letters, 124.2 million newspapers).
  • 2,525 postal outlets in 1920, 470 of which were post offices. There were 100 mobile post offices (carriages).
  • 356.4 million items delivered 96.4/person in 1940 (20.3 million official letters, 259.6 million newspapers).
  • 3,166 postal outlets in 1940, 566 of which were post offices. There were 216 mobile post offices (carriages).
  • Staff: 7,361 in 1920, 7,581 in 1925, 10,000 in 1930, 10,988 in 1935, 12,708 in 1940.


  • Lauri Pihkala presented a ball game he had developed, based on American baseball, in 1920.
  • Finns took the first four places in the javelin event at the Antwerp Olympic Games in 1920. The total number of medals was 15 gold, 10 silver and 10 bronze medals.
  • The Religious Freedom Act and the Conscription Act in 1922.
  • Women in Finland were awarded the right to hold any public office with the exception of the defence forces and the church in 1926.
  • Yleisradio, the Finnish Broadcasting Company, founded in 1926.
  • Modes of transport were improved. The first Road Traffic Act in 1926.
  • The Lapua movement 1929–1932; a radical right-wing anti-communist movement.
  • Ester Toivonen crowned Miss Europe in the UK in 1934.
  • Finns take the first three places in the 10,000 metre event at the Berlin Olympic Games in 1936. The total number of medals was 8 gold, 6 silver and 6 bronze medals.
  • The Nobel Prize for Literature awarded to Frans Emil Sillanpää in 1939.
  • The Winter War 1939–1940 and the Continuation War 1941–1944.
  • Presidents of Finland: K.J. Ståhlberg (National Progressive Party) 1919–25, Lauri Kristian Relander (Agrarian Party) 1925–31, P.E. Svinhufvud (National Coalition Party) 1931–37, Kyösti Kallio (Agrarian Party) 1937–40, Risto Ryti (National Progressive Party) 1940–44.
  • Population 3.4 million in 1930.

Global Events

  • Communications developed and became more automated in the 1920s. Automatic exchange replaced manual exchange and operator.
  • The first transatlantic telephone call made from New York to London in 1927.
  • The television was first shown to the public in 1927.
  • The first Mickey Mouse film in 1928.
  • The first Oscar awards were presented in 1929.
  • The boom ended with the New York stock market crash in 1929. A global economic crisis began.
  • The first appearance of Donald Duck in 1934.
  • Pan Am launched a scheduled airmail service from North America to Europe in 1939.
  • The first McDonald's in California in 1940.
  • Post codes were first introduced in Germany in 1942.
  • Joseph Stalin rose to power in the Soviet Union in the 1920s.
  • Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany in the 1930s.
  • The Second World War 1939–1945.