Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Man who help invent the ZIP Code dies at 84

The man who was instumental in the creation of the  “ZIP code” in 1962, died last week.

D. Jamison Cain was named deputy special assistant to the Postmaster General for public affairs in 1961. Along with others, he helped conceive the ZIP Code as a simpler way to sort mail.

Today other businesses use the code for insurance, municipality identification, marketing and demographics. Even our competitors use it.

Can you imagine what kind of world we would have without it? 

I've often wondered if we shouldn't have licensed the ZIP Code back then. Just think.

Comment here.


Anonymous said...

Most countries now have a version of a "zip" code. I wonder if we were the first to use them. Zip codes also make much more sense than telephone area codes since they start with smaller numbers on the East coast and end with the larger numbers on the West coast. When we see a zip code we can usually figure out where in the country it is even if the state is missing from an address. Area codes are all over the place, seemingly without any logic.

Francis S Alaphat said...

Patent is right approach. I am not sure of licensing , Trademarking or copyrighting, we can still do it IMHO if we can claim that it is USPS who started the concept and/or process. Think Patent and you would know how big revenue generation it can be for USPS. I worked in a replenishment project in Caterpillar and they patented the entire process for Just in time delivery approach. I could not believe that the project I designed and developed was claimed by some set of employees. We can think beyond ZIP code and patent every USPS process just make sure it is competitive to disclose some of the process to competitors. Do we have any competition for that matter?

Anonymous said...

Our ZIP Code system is pretty easy to understand with, as the previous poster stated, the ZIPs following a geographical progression from east to west. Other countries' postal codes seem to have no logic, combining numbers with letters.

P.S. I LOVE MR. ZIP!! :)

Anonymous said...

I wish customers and businesses understood that zip codes are used for delivery purposes only, and not for determining insurance rates, etc.