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Exploring the World of Mailboxes

Tuesday May 08, 2018

Mailboxes have had an interesting history.  It wasn't until the early 20th century that mailboxes even existed in the United States.  Before that point mail carriers waited at your door until you answered it or came back the next day.  Then the post office realized time and money could be saved by mandating people have mail boxes or mail slots.  What they forgot to do was mandate what the mailbox could be, so of course you had people making mailboxes out of kinds of materials and quite a few shapes.  Eventually the Post Office announced standards for mailboxes that had to be followed in order to make life for mail carriers easier. 


The quality and how well a mailbox lasts have changed quite a bit over time.  As technology improved for metals and paints that were more weather resistant they have been eventually implemented into mailboxes.  One of the biggest breakthroughs was the development of plastic mailboxes, but there is a downside with them.  They are more easily broken by people whether it's intentional or unintentional and plastic doesn't always handle the cold and heat as well. 

Many residential mailboxes in Tampa are made out of aluminum today.  Aluminum has proven to be light and durable especially with the powder finishes used on mailboxes.  Because of the toxic chemicals in a lot of paints and the issue of them running powder finishes are preferable.  Their application method is environmentally friendly and the powder doesn't chip or flake off from the weather like paint does.  It also provides mailboxes with a large assortment of finishes ranging from satin, high-gloss, matte and a number of colors.  This has reduced the maintenance required for mailboxes and improved their durability.

There are also a number of other mailbox designs today which use other materials.  These different designs involve building the post out of stone or brick, both of which are very durable and long lasting.  The biggest thing people focus on when selecting their mailbox and its post today is whether it fits with their house and overall landscape theme.  The one downside of having your mailbox built out of brick or stone is the cost.  A lot of people have been more creative as well and made their mailbox post into a light post as well.  This lets you accomplish two things at once with one post and a light on your mailbox can be a good way to deter people from tampering with it at night