Sunday, June 30, 2019

Brief History of Collection Box Colors

Did you know that letter collection boxes were no always blue like the ones above? I guess I am not surprised that they weren't always blue, but I was surprised at the various colors they used to be!

Collection boxes were first introduced in 1858 and were a variety of colors. There were red ones and green ones. The red ones were "important" (isn't all mail??). Red collection boxes were visited each hour by a postal worker to collect the mail and get it on its way. The green ones were (presumably) checked at a longer interval.

By 1909 all collection boxes were painted a deep green color. This was the first time that all boxes were painted to match. In 1913 however, boxes were painted in a bright red color so they would stand out. The problem was that people confused them with fire boxes and emergency equipment were also red. Once again the boxes were painted green.

This lasted until the dark green gave way to olive drab. The War Department gave the postal service a surplus of the olive drab paint which was then used as the standard color until 1955. On July 4, 1955 the Postmaster General ordered all boxes to be painted red, white, and blue. Very patriotic I must say.

The patriotic design lasted just under 20 years when the Postal Department was reorganized into the USPS that we know today in 1971. During this reorganization they designated a blue color for our collection boxes. The blue color is still in use today and at the time of this writing there is no indication that it will change.

Do you remember the boxes being different colors? If so I would love to hear about it. Drop me a line or a comment on the blog.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Ellsworth Kelly Stamp Release

Today is the anniversary of the release of the first Forever Stamp in 2015. So it seems only fitting to release a stamp on this day, and what could be better than these colorful art stamps? Ellsworth Kelly was a prolific artist mostly known for his abstract style. You can find his art in many places throughout the world including the Empire State Plaza where you can find his sculpture "Yellow and Blue" (seen below).

Will you be buying these stamps? I think I will. I can see them pairing quite nicely with some mail art. 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Mail A Letter Online???

Ok...I feel like this defeats the purpose...but here goes. Did you know you could type out a letter on your computer and pay strangers to mail (and probably read) it for you? Starting at just $1.52 you can have them print the letter, address the envelope and mail it anywhere in the world. I'm not going to lie, I am highly tempted to try it. But that would require paying to mail myself a letter. I just feel like that takes the personal aspect out of doing it. I mean...the whole point to writing letters and sending mail is to connect with people in a way that is unlike our modern times. So I guess you can say I don't understand the need for this service. However, if you would like to try it out please feel free to click this link

Am I the only one who finds this service completely absurd?

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Informed Delivery?

Have any of you signed up for the Informed Delivery service that is offered by the USPS? I just requested my verification (by mail of course), but this has be curious if anyone else is using this service?

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

No Postage Necessary...

...if mailed inside the United States. I am sure you all are familiar with this phrase, but in case you are not here is an example of where to find it.

This is a form of Business Reply Mail. Essentially the business asking for an answer will send you the envelope with essentially prepaid postage. When the business gets your reply their local post office calculates the postage that is due for delivering that piece of mail (and all others) for that specific business. 

After noticing this in the corners of my envelope I got to thinking recently about how much money a company has to spend to get replies from consumers. I know a few people think its fun to send these envelopes back empty, just to "stick it" to the company itself. However, did you ever think about putting a stamp on that envelope? Stick with me...what if the envelope is coming from a charity asking for a donation. Even if you agree to donate and send that reply the charity has to pay postage on it. If you attach proper postage you not only donated but also saved the charity a small amount in postage. Every little bit helps. 

Have you ever attached postage to envelopes like this?

Monday, May 27, 2019

Mail Call Monday

Dropped more goodies in the mail a few days ago. Hoping to make more people smile. In the pile was one card in particular that I enjoyed writing above all others. I was asked to help encourage a young girl who doesn't particularly like school by praising her passing the third grade. As well all know positive reinforcement is always a good thing. Needless to say I always enjoy sending mail, but sometimes there is one or two letters/cards that are more meaningful to write.

What did you send this week?

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Stamp Sunday: Wild and Scenic Rivers

I am sure many of you probably snagged these stamps when they released on the 21st. I unfortunately forgot they were coming out...which meant I forgot the stamp ceremony. *eyeroll*. The most disappointing thing about this is that the stamp ceremony was in Bend, Oregon. This is just 15-20 minutes drive from here. I wanted to attend, but again...brain fog got the best of me.

Anyway, the Deschutes River is featured in this set (far right, third one down). The Deschutes runs through my town and the neighboring ones. You can float the river in summer time and watch a myriad of water fowl and other animals drinking or swimming in the river. The Deschutes allows us to irrigate the farmland that is all around this area, so without it we would be completely lost.

My local post office did not have the stamps when I asked. I was told they only received 10 sheets upon the release. This further shows I will have to visit Bend for my stamp needs. OR wait for them to arrive from USPS online store.

Are any of these rivers close to you?