Green U.S.mail boxes
Green U.S.mail boxes
Posted by: HOLTANEK (
Date: March 15, 2011 07:00PM

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?

Re: Green U.S.mail boxes
Posted by: Berwyn Frank (
Date: March 15, 2011 07:15PM

They still have those in Berwyn. I don't know what the're called but it's almost like a drop box of some sorts for the route or something?,-87.792519&sspn=0.007359,0.016469&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=2100+Euclid+Ave,+Berwyn,+Cook,+Illinois+60402&ll=41.852389,-87.792134&spn=0,0.016469&z=17&layer=c&cbll=41.852486,-87.792135&panoid=-ew0dT1S6s1d0OOaHYrP3A&cbp=12,273.24,,0,-5.09

Re: Green U.S.mail boxes
Posted by: bwalsh (
Date: March 15, 2011 09:31PM

I thought they were drop boxes. I have seen mailmen opening them and putting bags of mail in them or taking them out.

Re: Green U.S.mail boxes
Posted by: SmoothRT (
Date: March 16, 2011 07:48PM

There are still many of those on the northwest side of the city. I've walked by them on side streets multiple times.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/16/2011 07:49PM by SmoothRT.

Re: Green U.S.mail boxes
Posted by: Elaine W (192.175.17.---)
Date: March 16, 2011 10:24PM

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.

Re: Green U.S.mail boxes
Posted by: firstcity_thirdcoast (
Date: April 05, 2011 03:07PM

There is one still in use at the NW corner of Grand and Kingsbury in River North. Just as Elaine mentioned, they're used for mail delivery and relay.

Re: Green U.S.mail boxes
Posted by: davey7 (
Date: April 11, 2011 03:58PM

Still in use in Hyde Park and Edgewater.

Re: Green U.S.mail boxes
Posted by: sbaer311 (
Date: August 31, 2011 04:06PM

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?

Re: Green U.S.mail boxes
Posted by: ThenNowFuture (
Date: November 06, 2011 10:46AM

Those are still around on the Southside, too.

They are either used for mail route sorting or to store lunch.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/06/2011 10:47AM by ThenNowFuture.

Re: Green U.S.mail boxes
Posted by: jak378 (
Date: November 07, 2011 01:53PM

Weren't they called "Relay Boxes?"

Re: Green U.S.mail boxes
Posted by: glassgypsy (
Date: August 17, 2014 04:45AM

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.

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