Thursday, 31 December 2009

The oldest working British letter box

I found this card at an auction inside a box of other postcards issued by the Royal Mail.  I was looking for kitchen chairs at the time - I bought no chairs but I did buy the box of postcards.

From the back of the card:
Great Britain's oldest letter box still in regular use is at Barnes Cross, Holwell, near Sherbourne, Dorset.  The box was made between 1853 and 1856 and is octagonal with a vertical letter slot.  Local postman Stephen Whittle wears a uniform of the 1850s.
Photography by Murray King.

The vertical slot was apparently used to deter thieves, though why this should be so, I'm really not sure.  The slot is very much smaller than the standard today so I would think that has more bearing on keeping out thieving hands!
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  1. Wouldn't it be fun to have an antique mailbox!!
    This one is so cute...nice that it's still in use.

  2. In New Jersey, the only place you can find a public mailbox is in front of the post office. The rest have been removed from my town.


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