Boxing with History


Historic mailboxes have great character and a strong presence, easily catching the appreciative eye of passersby. Ornate details and quality craftsmanship of the first-class guardians are reminders of a time very different from the one we live in today.

This particular mail chute, in the lobby of a large, historic building in downtown Denver, CO, brings a sense of wonder and curiosity about the era in which it was constructed. To this very day, decades after its construction, the polished sentry continues to stand guard over the mail entrusted to it.

If you come across a classic mailbox during your travels that you think others would find interesting, send it here for possible inclusion in a future post.

Women’s Conference in Minneapolis Celebrates Contributions and Experiences

More than three dozen attendees enjoyed an evening of enrichment as the Northland District Diversity Committee

celebrated March as Women’s History Month at the Minneapolis Post Office on Mar. 7.
The Women’s Conference recognized women’s contributions to history and contemporary society. Exhibitors provided information on a variety of health, financial and educational topics. Attendees also had the opportunity to hold mock one-on-ones with local postal leaders to polish their interviewing skills.
Speakers at the event included Northland District Senior Plant Manager Erica Brix, Local Business Agent for the American Postal Workers Union Peggy Whitney, and Retail Business Technology Operations Specialist Orysia Karkoc. All three began their postal careers as Letter Sorting Machine (LSM) clerks in Minneapolis, but their career plans took them in different directions. Each shared their work experiences during the conference and described the steps they took to build their successful careers.

Blast From USPS Past

Mr ZIP w border

This unique card, originally sent in 1966, is a nostalgic blast from the past that introduces the famous Mr. ZIP. His presence helped promote the new concept of Zip Codes that revolutionized mail delivery service in the United States.

In comparison to the figures on the back of the card below:

– The Postal Service handled more than 159 billion pieces of mail in fiscal year 2012.

– Mail volume decreased by more than 8 billion pieces from 2011 to 2012.

– Delivery points increased by 654,500 in 2012.

Mr ZIP back w border

What Mr. ZIP memorabilia do you have? Click here to e-mail a photo of your item for placement in a future blog post.

How Young is Your Post Office?

It’s estimated that the Earth is several billion years old. Given its longevity, the human civilization seems as young as a recently planted crop. With this in mind, the Postal Service’s 237-year history seems fresh and new. While this might seem like a lengthy period of time compared to the average human life span, there are other posts in the world with an even longer history.

The oldest post office in the world, as recognized by the Universal Postal Union and the Guinness Book of World Records, is the Sanquhar office in Scotland. It recently received a plaque to honor its 300th anniversary, and its subpostmistress, Penny Murphy, was pleased to accept the recognition.

The second and third oldest Post Offices are in Stockholm, Sweden, and Santiago, Chile, respectively.

How young is the post office in your town?

The Very First USPS Christmas Stamp

Hello all, Benny here. The Postal Service recently released the latest version of its holiday stamp collection, and I think you’ll find it a real treat. It includes a delightful depiction of Santa Claus circling in the sky above snow-covered rooftops, guided by his eight trusty reindeer.

We had something similar to Santa’s sleigh in my time – only the sleighs we used had wheels on them and were pulled by sturdy horses. They didn’t fly overhead either, though I remember moving at a pretty good clip a time or two when I was late to one meeting or another. I always pushed those things off until the last minute.

Since we’re getting into the holiday spirit, I thought I’d share with you a little history on the first Christmas stamp issued by the Postal Service. Back on November 1, 1962, the Post Office Department issued its first Christmas stamp following several years of successful holiday themed stamp sales. Customers had been requesting a Christmas stamp for some time, so it was a welcomed sight when it was introduced.

Not everyone was happy with the decision to introduce a Christmas stamp, though, and some attempted to prevent the Post Office from releasing it. After some debate, the stamp was released to overwhelming support and success. By the end of 1962, the Post Office had sold one billion of the festive stamps.

I’ll be picking up my 2012 holiday stamps today, so I can mail out my cards before the deadline on the 20th. I’ll also be keeping a few stamps for my own personal collection so I can continue to enjoy them for many years to come. I hope you’ll join me in doing the same.

Until next time!



Trick or Treat

Hello all, Benny here. Today is Halloween, the day when all the ghouls and goblins come out to party with jack-o-lanterns and candy treats.

Back when I was a kid, I remember reading about children in other parts of the world dressing up and going door to door to collect food and coins. Though I never put on a costume of my own, I was fascinated by the idea of becoming someone else for a brief period of time. That could have been the reason why I became so enthralled with writing. Back then though, as interesting as Halloween sounded, I never imagined that it would grow into the popular festival it is today.

Like many people out there, I enjoy giving out candy to boys and girls dressed as superheroes, celebrities and cartoon characters. Can you imagine my surprise when I actually saw someone dressed as me once? That was a real hoot!

To celebrate Halloween, I thought I’d share with you a small timeline on its history. There really is a fascinating story behind this day, and you should learn more about it when you get the chance.

As for me, I need to pick up a few goodies for the kids coming over tonight. I don’t want them to leave empty handed. Have a safe and happy Halloween!




Lost Before the Mail

On a bright, sunny day in OR, a single page containing two old photographs was left in the lobby of the Newport Post Office. There was no indication of whom it belonged to or where it was supposed to go.

The discovery prompted a clerk to ask Steve Wyatt, executive director of the Lincoln County Historical Society, to take a look at the piece and see if there was anything in the photos that could potentially lead the page back to its owner.

Wyatt was able to trace the photos back to World War II, but wasn’t able to find any identifying information that could help the page return home. He is hopeful that someone will be able to identify the page and provide information that will lead to its owner.

When an orphaned object is discovered in the lobby at a Postal facility, what options would you recommend to reunite the item with its owner?

The Louisiana Statehood Stamp

Hello folks, Benny here. I’ve got some information I thought you might find interesting. The Postal Service is issuing a Louisiana Statehood stamp today to celebrate its bicentennial in becoming the 18th state of our country.

Way back in 1778 when I was much younger, and perhaps had a few more strands of hair on my crown, I helped put together the Treaty of Alliance. It was meant to establish a defensive alliance between France and the United States in case the British attacked, and boy did it come in handy.

Well, little did I realize that France would offer us more than that treaty just 25 years later. That’s when they gave us the chance to buy the entire Louisiana Territory for just $15 million. It was such a bargain for so much land, how could we possibly refuse? Eventually, on April 30, 1812, Louisiana became an official state of the Union.

Has it really been 200 years already? I guess time flies when you’re on the go. Speaking of which, it’s time for my nap. Until next time friends!


  • Hello, I'm Benny the Blogger: I'm the world's most famous postal employee. My hobbies are snappy quotes, kite flying and publishing. I was born Jan. 17, 1706, but don't call me old.

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