Just like public phones, USPS big blue mail boxes are disappearing from our streets. This article shares the details on the mailboxes disappearing from San Franciso and the long trend (since the 60s!) of the USPS reducing the number of them in service.
Debbie Delaney, former Miss Lexington Kentucky, tries to drop mail in an oversize speaking mail box that gives mailing instructions for the Christmas season in 1964. Debbie was advertising for the post office who wished to remind patrons to mail early.
(Photo: UPI, via San Francisco Chronicle)
Check out this slideshow that features USPS mailboxes through the ages.
The article shared these numbers:
365,000: Number of mailboxes nationwide in 2000
160,000: Number of mailboxes nationwide in 2011
25: pieces of mail a mailbox must receive each day to remain in operation
35%: Drop in first-class mail since 2006
32%: Drop in the number of mailboxes in San Francisco in past few years
42%: Drop in amount of mail collected from mailboxes in San Francisco over past five years
I have always loved dropping letters into these boxes on random street corners, knowing that an intricate system of people are dedicated to getting my missives to their recipients. There’s something a little magical about it. I understand the need to gain more efficiency in USPS service, but I hope that these big blue boxes remain part of our landscape.