Sunday, September 04, 2011

Corner Mailboxes - Becoming a Thing of the Past?

The Chicago Sun-Times reports, "Chalk up another casualty of the digital revolution: the blue corner mailbox. Because of steeply declining use, the U.S. Postal Service has removed more than 60 percent of the blue boxes, once as common on the American streetscape as lampposts and ice cream trucks. In 1985, nearly 400,000 blue mailboxes graced American streets. Now only 160,000 remain, and more are vanishing every day."

The volume of mail dropped into mailboxes has dropped 35 percent since 2006, the U.S. Postal Service says.

“To be honest, we don’t get a lot of complaints,” said James Wigdel, a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service’s San Francisco office. “The younger generation is moving everything online.”

In a related article by Carolyn Jones of the San Francisco Chronicle, "If a mailbox gets fewer than 25 pieces of mail per day over a six-to-eight-week period, it gets targeted for removal. The Postal Service posts a 30-day warning notice on the box, during which time people can complain to the postmaster, then it's off to the great dead-letter office in the sky. The defunct mailboxes either are stored for spare parts or sent to the scrap heap, a humbling fate for something that was the high-speed Internet of its day."

To learn more about the history of mailboxes and their declining use, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM