A letterbox is as ubiquitous in our Australian front yard as a house number, driveway and garage. According to Wikipedia, private letterboxes or mail slots did not become popular in most of Europe until the mid to late 19th century, although they were used in Paris from the late 18th century.
In 1863, the US Post Office began delivering mail to private home addresses. But, interestingly until 1916, the postman would knock on the door and wait patiently for the person to answer the door. Even then, the efficiency experts estimated the mailman was wasting on average about 1.5 hours a day waiting, so the US Post Office decreed that individual home owners must have a mail slot and this was made mandatory in 1923.
Then of course it evolved to become even more efficient by having mailboxes at the front of the property so the mailman wouldn’t have to walk right up to the door.
It is interesting to hear the history of things that are so ubiquitous in our lives. We only wonder how long it will be before the postman doesn’t call on homes at all, and the letterbox disappears.
Melbourne Brick manufactures and stocks a range of letterboxes to suit a traditional or modern landscape. Find a letterbox that suits your design style one of our three display superstores or visit melbournebrick.com.au for a little inspiration.