Monday, July 12, 2010

The 'Original' Pillar Boxes

An article on the website points out, "The history of pillar box use in Britain can be traced back to the Channel Islands via Sir Rowland Hill and the well known author Anthony Trollope. Sir Rowland Hill asked Anthony Trollope to visit the Channel Islands in order to investigate solutions to the problem of erratic mail collections on the islands of Jersey and Guernsey. Trollope identified the main cause of the problem as the varied times of Royal Mail boats arriving and departing the islands due to changing tide times and unpredictable weather conditions."

It goes on to say, "Trollope suggested that a 'letter receiving pillar' he had previously seen working in Paris could be the answer so that letters could be posted any time securely and then await collection for boat sailings whenever they occured.

"The Vaudin & Son foundry on Jersey was given the job to produce the octagonal 'pillars'. The first four were erected on Jersey at various locations around St Helier entering service on November 23rd 1852. In February 1853 Guernsey had seen three 'pillar' boxes installed."

According to Wikipedia, the first six in London were installed on April 11, 1855.

Shown above, 2002 souvenir sheet from Jersey marking the 250th anniversary of the very first "pillar" boxes.

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