What Happened to Blue Collection Mailboxes Throughout America?

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on February 12, 2010

Mail collection boxes on street corners, and those located in shopping and business districts throughout our country have methodically, silently, vanished over the course of the past decade. The large blue, free standing mailboxes many of us grew up using regularly to assist in the delivery of written correspondence, and of course birthday cards, are all but unknown to many. Perhaps the deluge of snow here in suburban Maryland has me waxing poetic about Americana, but there are indeed ramifications related to this occurrence. Does the disappearance of the mailboxes subtly herald the triumph of “connecting” and “networking”? The electronic “replacements”: e-cards, e-mail, e-books, and e-time, along with texting, tweeting and a variety of other mobile techie apps. Back to ground, the facts indicate 100,000 collection boxes are gone, and this database, released via FOIA request, lists those that remain – just in time for Valentine’s Day. So try and find one, and maybe mail a card – with thanks from those of us who still enjoy sending and receiving them (especially ones that are home made).

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