April 17, 2017
This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
Have you ever wondered why rural mail boxes are all about the same height and placed on level ground near the road? Well… there was an order from the Postmaster General in Washington, D.C., which was received on April 21, 1909. It announced that all mailboxes on rural routes must be placed on the sides of the roads and at a convenient place, so the carrier could reach them without getting out of his vehicle. The placement of the mailboxes was to be on flat land and away from deep ditches. The order, which required the change was for the purpose of expediting the work of the carrier, and reducing the time required to make a circuit of the route. The Postmaster was required to furnish a list of all names of patrons whose boxes were NOT easily accessible to the carrier. Furthermore, all boxes were to be placed on short strong posts, not on telegraph poles, at a height which would allow the carrier to deliver the mail without rising from his seat.
Now you know how the uniformity of rural mail boxes got started.