Does anyone remember the old green U.S.Mail boxes? When I was growing up in the 50s and 60s there used to be mail drop boxes in the neighborhoods. Instead of going to the post office one could just walk at most a block or two to mail a letter. But also, in the neighborhoods as well, there were these same-sized, but green mail boxes. They were locked and it wasnt a drop box as they had no slot to insert mail. Anyone know what the purpose of these green boxes were?? Or what they were known by?
They are the drop boxes for mail delivery. I used to know some details of how they worked but I've forgotten. I believe that mail was sorted by delivery route and put in a large canvas bag, one bag per route. If one mail carrier had multiple routes (for example, one route on the east side of a street and then another on the west side), that would be two canvas bags. The carrier could pick up one bag at a time, returning to the drop box to pick up the second bag.
Drop boxes for the mailmen back in the day. They would pick up the mail and then put it in their carts to deliver. Our mailman, Dominic the whistling mailman, would pretend to lock us up in the lock box! My have times have changed! Can you imagine what kind of trouble he would get in today?
Yep, they are called "Relay boxes". The letter carrier would sort the mail for their route, and place it in canvas sacks. Another carrier would deliver these sacks. The letter carrier would work from one relay box to another, delivering mail as they went.