Monday, May 19, 2008

Blue Mailboxes Do a Disappearing Act

The Houston Chronicle reports USPS continues to cut costs by pulling their familiar blue mailboxes from street corners nationwide.

According to the article, as more people use computers to communicate, there are fewer letters to be mailed. As the Postal Service raises the cost of sending a letter, it also is trying to cut costs of collecting them by pulling boxes from street corners nationwide.

Victoria L. Coman and Hannah Wolfson of the Newhouse News Service quotes Nancy Pope, historian at the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum in Washington as saying, ..."blue street boxes have been around since 1970 or 1971, when the Postal Service moved out of the president's Cabinet to become a semiprivate agency. Before then, the boxes were olive drab, and earlier than that, there were small letter boxes attached to urban lamp posts."

Pope didn't have specific numbers, but she said the peak for mailboxes was probably in the 1980s before e-mail became popular.

Before they disappear all together, you may want to send a photo of your neighborhood "Blue Box" to

Like the now almost extinct payphone, pictures of mailboxes are being archived for future generations.

To learn more, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM