Monday, August 03, 2009

John Wornham Penfold - Pillar Box Designer

The British Postal Museum & Archive's website reports that this year marks the death centenary of John Wornham Penfold, designer of Britain’s beloved pillar box.

In 1866 Penfold submitted designs for a pillar box after the British Post Office decided it wanted to standardize letter boxes throughout the country. The first posting slot appeared in 1809 and a variety of mail collection receptacles began to appear around the country.

According to the site, "Penfold’s box – or the Penfold, as it became known – combined simple design with functionality. Hexagonal in shape, it was adorned with acanthus leaves and balls, a far less ornate design than some of the elaborately decorative boxes which had come before it. But the cost of producing Penfolds was high, and a cheaper and plainer standard box was introduced 13 years later."

"Many of the features initiated with the Penfold boxes remain in use. Penfolds were produced in different size to accommodate different volumes of mail, as pillar boxes still are to this day, and Penfolds were also the first boxes to be manufactured in the new standard colour of red, in 1874," the site goes on to say.

Shown above, a replica Penfold pillar box in the collection of the British Post Museum and Archives.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM