Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mail Call

There was a day when letter carriers didn't have mail receptacles to place mail. They would go door to door, knock and wait. Letter carriers waited for someone to answer their signal, and if no one was home, they took the mail back to the post office and tried again the next day. Carriers spent an average of two hours a day,  just waiting at the doorstep.

Some letter carriers chose to use wooden, dumbbell-shaped door knockers on their rounds. Convenient, lightweight and easy to grasp, the knocker saved wear and tear on hands and sounded a loud crack to announce the carrier’s arrival.

To save work hours, in 1916, the Post Office Department required residents to install mailboxes or letter slots.

Photo courtesy of Smithsonian's National Postal Museum

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well I think that is very cool, I never knew that. Too bad we are still wasting time walking up sidewalks to the door. Only boxes placed curbside should be allowed,except for the hardship cases. Perhaps that is another change that will come in the near future. It should. Much time is still wasted.