The usage of letter boxes has developed differently in other parts of the world, but in Britain the Post Office introduced the letter box in 1849. Prior to that, outgoing mail was taken to the Post Office and dropped through letter boxes which had been made available in the walls and doors of the Post Office buildings. As the mail delivery system to homes and businesses was established, people were encouraged to make facilities available so that the postman could deliver mail quickly and easily. Letter boxes, or mail slots as they are known in the United States, started to appear in front doors and office buildings started to have multiple occupancy letter boxes which were allocated to businesses who occupied the building. This also applied to multiple occupancy residential properties with each resident being allocated a personal letter box.
In Europe, personal letter boxes did not become popular until the mid to late nineteenth century. In North America, the first letter box was set up in 1863. The Free City Delivery service was established and postal services were improved by the delivery of mail to individual addresses. Prior to that, the postman was obliged to knock on the door of a property and wait for a response. This meant that a lot of time was wasted if people were not at home or were slow in answering the door. For incoming mail, the advent of the letter box made the postman’s life easier and less time consuming. For outgoing mail, it is common practice in the US for mail boxes to be located at the side of the street to save the postman time in having to physically walk up each path individually to deliver the mail. This method is used in rural areas and mail boxes are mounted on posts at the end of a road or track. Mail boxes are often fitted with a flag to indicate that mail has been delivered.
Typical sizes of letter boxes are 30cm by 5cm (12 inches by 2 inches) and the slot is usually cut horizontally in the middle or lower half of the front door. A weatherproof flap is placed on the outside over the slot and this can be made of brass, chrome or other material to complement the style of your door. The inside of the letter box can be fitted with another flap to exclude draughts as well as a cage to catch the mail so it does not drop on the floor. The cage is often known as an indoor post box and catches the mail as it is pushed through the letter box. Both letter boxes and indoor post boxes are designed to accept A4 envelopes, but larger capacity letter boxes and newspaper boxes are also available.
The basic design of the standard letter box used in the majority of houses in urban Britain has changed little since its inception in 1849. The availability of a letter box improves efficiency for the postman which in turn cuts costs to the consumer by keeping the price of postage at an economic level.
There are many styles of Letter Boxes on the market, and it will depend on whether you live in a house which is an individual dwelling or a multi occupancy building as to which type of Letter Box suits your requirements. Multi occupancy buildings such as apartments and office blocks will often have a Mail Box with individual compartments either inside or outside the building. This will make the postman’s job much easier, as he will not have to visit every individual apartment or office in the building to distribute the post, unless he has to deliver a package which must be signed for.
As with Post Boxes for individual residences and businesses, there are many styles and designs of multi occupancy Mail Boxes on the market. These can be horizontal or vertical, mounted on supports or fixed to a wall inside or outside the building. When a new apartment or office block is commissioned, the style and location of the multi occupancy Mail Box will often have been decided by the developer. Security of the mail should be taken into account, and each individual Mail Box will have a key so that the recipient can retrieve the delivered mail. Each box will be labelled with the name of the person or the office or apartment number to ensure that the mail goes to the correct addressee. The Mail Boxes are usually made of stainless steel or steel and are fire resistant.
The sizes of the Mail Boxes will depend on whether the building is a residential or commercial premises, and there are multi occupancy Mail Boxes which are of a larger capacity than the standard A4 and will accept bigger C4 mail without bending as well as more post.
Communal Mail Boxes in large apartment blocks are often the target of vandals, so they must be fire proof so that a fire started in a Post Box will not spread to other parts of the building. Some Mail Boxes are specifically designed to extinguish fires and are fitted with fire extinguishers which detects the fire and puts it out before it can spread to other parts of the building. It is always important to protect the important documents which are delivered to your premises, so investing in a Mail Box with the additional feature of being anti arson is money well spent. If you are moving to new premises which already has a multi occupancy Mail Box you can ask whether it is fireproof, and if it does not have this feature, it would be worth lobbying the other occupants of the building to agree to a new Mail Box for the building. If the building is still under development and are considering a lease for an apartment or office within the block, you can request the management company to negotiate with the builders to agree the style of the multi occupancy Mail Box which is fire proof. Often these details are overlooked in the rush to finalise and commission a building.
With the phenomenal growth of the internet and digital media, the question arises as to why there is a still a need for letter boxes and why they are so important. Many firms, especially banks and lawyers, still send documents by snail mail and you need a letter box as a receptacle for the incoming mail. Security of incoming mail is very important and you do not want other people accessing your mail, especially if it contains confidential information such as bank details or information about legal transactions. Much of this is sent by recorded delivery and must be signed for, but it is still important to have a letter box in case you are not in and the postman has to leave a card so you can collect the letter from the post office later.
There is a rising crime rate in data theft and you must always consider the security of your private information. By providing a letter box, you are making it easy for the postman to deliver the mail which is not then accessible to other parties than the addressee. The Royal Mail is legally bound to deliver mail only to the addressee and not to a third party, even if you are out, so a letter box is a must. Lockable letter boxes, arson proof letter boxes and letter boxes which can be built into the walls or doors of your property are all available to maximise the security of your mail.
Some people do not wish to provide bank details over the phone or internet and may prefer to have paper contracts for some documents which must be signed and returned instead of downloading them from the internet. When opening a new bank account or setting up a new insurance policy, the financial institution concerned will always want an original signature. This means sending out original paper documents which are delivered through your letter box to prevent money laundering and identity theft.
Security is becoming more and more necessary these days as criminals find ever more ingenious ways to steal identities when payments for goods are made via the internet. This can be avoided by insisting that bank details and other personal information are only provided in writing and sent through the post. The recipient will also then require a letter box to receive the documents, making it more difficult for the would-be thief to intercept your information for their own use, or to sell on to a third party.
Letter boxes for incoming mail have been in use in the UK for many years, and red post boxes for outgoing mail a national institution. The Royal Mail is legally obliged to keep your mail safe at all times while it is in their care and are very diligent when you request redirection of your mail to another address, requiring the signature of the person to whom mail is addressed as well as photographic identification. This will ensure that mail is delivered to the correct letter box at your new address.
Even the modern world of communications and the internet, people are still inundated with mail received through Letter Boxes both at residential and at business premises. As we all try to cut down on waste in all forms, it is annoying to receive unsolicited mail and to have to sift through communications which are delivered through post boxes to separate bona fide letters from unwanted mail. Advertising fliers posted through letter boxes are often thrown away without being read, and even glossy magazines received through letter boxes can be put in the paper recycling without even having been opened. This is not only a waste of paper, but a waste of money for the advertisers and promoters. People lead busy lives, and do not want to receive unsolicited mail through their letter boxes and to have to sort out the mail at the end of a busy day.
Some people who do not wish to receive unwanted mail through their post boxes put notices with “no junk mail” above their letter boxes, but this is bad news not only for the postman who has carried the mail and has to sort it out, but also for the company who has spent money producing the material. It is not cost effective for advertisers to have their hard earned cash basically thrown in the bin. According to the BBC News site (November 2011), new measures are being introduced to reduce the amount of junk mail received through letter boxes. From April 2012 there is to be a single web site where the people can register to opt out of receiving unsolicited fliers and other mail. Direct marketing companies have agreed to only use recyclable materials in advertisements whereas at the moment 80% of items received through your letter box do not fall into that category. Currently people have to register on three separate web sites if they do not wish to receive junk mail – the Mailing Preference Service, the Your Choice Preference System and the Royal Mail’s Door-to-Door opt-out service.
Mail Boxes are often overflowing or letters are piled up behind the door when people return from holiday and much of it is unsolicited mail. This all has to be sorted, causing aggravation when the majority of what has been delivered through the letter box is effectively rubbish. According to the BBC News report, on average the UK householder receives more than 370 items of unsolicited paper mail through their letter boxes each year, the greater part of it unaddressed.
In the same report, it was stated that an estimated nine billion items of unaddressed post are delivered through post boxes every year. Such mail inevitably ends up in the bin creating a lot of waste. The Government are so concerned about the level of waste that they have brokered a deal with the Direct Marketing Association to reduce the level of unsolicited mail being delivered through post boxes in a crack down on junk mail as part of its waste review in the UK’s effort to forge ahead with a zero waste economy.
Are you looking for indoor mail boxes or post boxes for flats? Here at Mail Box Mania we offer a great range of super high quality mail box products at great prices.
A fairly classic choice for a post box or mail box in a flat is the V-270 RC Black Indoor/ Outdoor Rear Access Postbox. This post box is made of galvanized zinc plated steel. It’s weather resistant, rust resistant, and has a large door for easy emptying. It ha a quality cylinder lock and comes with 2 keys. There is a 3 year manufacturers warranty, and is offered at only £44.99.
Another good choice for an indoor post box is the Potsdam Rear Access / Indoor Brown or White Post Box. It’s ideal for fence mounting, backs of gates, or on walls inside buildings. It allows for easy access for the postman as well as private retrieval.
These are just of the few choices we have for mail boxes. We have multiple choices and styles for both indoor and outdoor post boxes.
We offer high quality mail boxes in a wide range of styles, colours, and price ranges. We are the premier supplier of post box products in the UK, and offer competitive prices that you won’t find elsewhere.
For more information about our products or for assistance in ordering, please feel free to get in touch. You can ring us on: 0 1943 463 998. We’d love to help you find the right indoor mail boxes for your flat.
The letter box could be considered one of the unsung heroes of the front of your home. You and your postman interact with it daily, and it probably sees more use than the expensive outdoor umbrella stand Aunt Maud gave you for Christmas in 1993!
Our mail boxes are designed do one of two things, either perform the basic function of a secure, simple post box, or make a stylish statement to the front of your home that you can rely on 100% in terms of security and durability.
Statement Mail Boxes
In the current financial climate, most folks don’t have the resources to get the brickwork of their house re-pointed and have a Groundforce-like garden makeover on the front garden. That said, there are still thrifty little ways to make a difference; re-painting the fence, re-painting the front door, clearing weeds and defining pathways using large stones/bedding fences etc. can have a huge effect on the frontage of your house. Item number two – statement mail boxes! When all the other bits and bobs of your front area facelift are to do with simplifying and generally tidying up a bit, something cheap and cheerful like a statement letter box could be just the finishing touch!
Simple Mail Boxes
Simple and stylish needn’t be mutually exclusive. Many of our simple mail box designs are ideally suited to nestle harmoniously with the frontage of your property, adding that little extra subtle final touch to your own makeover elbow grease!
Mail boxes can come in handy in a range of situations, both in domestic and commercial scenarios. Indeed, you might be looking to purchase postboxes.
However, like many people, your finances may be somewhat stretched at present. After all, economic conditions remain tough and simply making ends meet can be a difficult task. But, by being savvy when you seek mail boxes, you can ensure you do not exceed your limited budget.
For example, by coming here to Mailbox Mania, you can pick up your perfect items at great value prices.
Because we understand the importance of providing excellent deals, we even have a special offers section dedicated to highlighting the very best prices we can offer. This makes your efforts to source postboxes even easier.
You might well be shocked by the low cost of the offerings you see in this section of our website. But even if you do not find what you’re looking for here, there is bound to be something elsewhere on our website. And because all our products are fantastic value, you will not have to overspend.
It is only by being tactical when you are looking to purchase goods like this that you will be able to balance your books.
So, to see our great range of items and our special offers, simply browse our website. By buying through us, you can rest assured you are getting a great deal on quality products that will not only look good but will also stand the test of time.
At www.mailboxmania.co.uk, we are just mad about mailboxes and letterboxes. For us, it is much more than a business; it is a way of life. We love the functionality and style of mailboxes, and the amazing ways designers have managed to make a household item which could have been regarded as mundane into a veritable work of art which is functional yet beautiful.
Despite advances in technology and the advent of e-mail, we know that so called ‘snail mail’ will never be replaced by its electronic cousin. There is something wonderfully and magically tactile about receiving a letter from a loved one abroad, or even a correspondence from a highly regarded business colleague. At Mailbox Mania, we hope to provide pristine and premium mailboxes and letterboxes to the public for generations to come. We feel privileged to have secured a place in the provision of perfect post-boxes and magnificent mailboxes.
We always ensure that the quality of our products is optimal and offer a selection which includes multi-occupancy boxes, steel gates and railing letterboxes, through the wall boxes, cast aluminium boxes, large capacity newspaper boxes and even anti-arson post-boxes. Whatever your requirements and desires, we can advise you on the very best post-box for your residential or business property which will enhance the appearance of your property’s facade. We always welcome enquiries from those who collect mailboxes as well as those who need them for more practical reasons.
The popularity of the post box is directly linked to the development of modern industrial urban societies and the extension of communication infrastructures in both Europe and America. So it is therefore inextricably intertwined with the development of our modern Western civilisations, and we are proud to be associated with such wonderful products.
We’re certainly a nation that loves nostalgia! Here are a few odds and ends we discovered about that most British of street furniture institutions – the red postbox!
• The very first postboxes (pillar boxes to be precise) were erected in Jersey during the Post Offices’ 1852 campaign of modernisation. It’s commonly thought the idea hailed from France.
• It was another five years before roadside postboxes were a common sight along the highways and byways of Britain. It was during this time that the Birmingham District Council commissioned what is now cited as the traditional post box design of a single column.
• Pillar boxes always bear the monogram of the reigning monarch. Take a look at any old-looking post boxes in your area to see if the monogram “V.R” resides on its front. If so, it’s dates from the reign of Queen Victoria!
• Windsor Castle has a blue post box. The now-redundant air mail boxes remained in service for less than a decade and are a incredibly rare sight.
• The oldest working red post box in Britain is over 150 years old.
• One of the conditions cited when Consignia took over Royal Mail was that all current postboxes be preserved as heritage icons.
The good old British postbox is certainly one of our favourite icons of the UK. And whilst we can’t provide you with your own cast iron Victorian pillar box, we can supply personal and commercial use mailboxes that will stand the hardy test of time (many of them come in red too!)
It’s one of the most popular post destinations in the world. All of us are likely to have sent letters there on a few occasions. In fact his mail box must be one of the largest, most study and magnificent mail boxes in the world!
The hopeful little children of the 1800’s didn’t invest their dreams and wishes in the postal service. The tradition of burning your letter in your home hearth, safe in the knowledge it would pop up in old St Nick’s mail box was the custom of the day.
Flash forward a few decades and we see less home hearths and more electric heaters – oh no! The practice of popping a letter to Santa in the general post is a harmless one. However is does create a hefty amount of, dare we say… waste! The Royal Mail actually provides an excellent reply service, sending notes back to the mail boxes of good little boys and girls all across the UK!
In the USA, a little town rather jauntily named “Santa Claus, Indiana” receives hundreds of thousands of crayon-addressed letters to Santa every year. The good people of Santa Claus actually make the effort to reply to as many as they can too!
Our team couldn’t quite decide on which of our mail boxes Santa might choose, suffice to say it would almost certainly be red! And just in case you’re in the mood for a little festive wishing and maybe dropping a note into Santa’s mail box….