Have you ever notice how creative and original one can be when it comes to install a mailbox?
As I drive and travel around, I keep an eye open for them. Always seeking to take pictures for my “Creative Mailboxes” photography collection.
Nowadays, for many, the virtual mailbox receives much more mail than the physical mailboxes but both are very important ways of communication.
The best website I found featuring photo collections of mailboxes is: Sam’s Mailbox Picture Collection. Never seen so many original mailboxes ! Be ready for big surprises when you check that website.
Makes me wonder…who invented the concept of a personal box where mail can be delivered to our homes?
I googled my question and found out the following on Education Ask.com
First, some background. In the early 1800’s, most letters in the U.S. were taken to the post office to be mailed, and recipients had to retrieve their mail from the post office.
The first letter box (where the public could leave its letters) sanctioned by the United States Postal Service was patented on March 9, 1858 by Albert Potts. His design incorporated the lampposts that his company made with a letter box. His receptacle was rather small and required frequent emptying.
It wasn’t until 1863 that mail was delivered to homes of people who lived in cities without additional charge. By 1890, hundreds of cities delivered mail to residents’ homes, thus leading to a need for mailboxes.
It was not the first in history, however; that honor goes to Renouard De Valayer. In 1653, he set up a short-lived postal system using collection boxes on street corners around Paris.
The street letter drop mailbox with a hinged door that closed to protect the mail was invented by Philip B. Downing. Downing, an African-American inventor. He patented his new device on October 27, 1891.
While not the earliest, in 1892, George E. Becket, of Providence, R.I., was granted a patent for his “house-door letter-box,” an improved mail slot that was permanently mounted on the front door of a house.
Talk soon !