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The craftsman
Volume XXXI, Number 3 (December 1916)

Why not artistic post boxes?,   pp. 293-295 PDF (2.0 MB)


Page 293


BETTER RURAL POST BOXES
W
BOXES?
N the early part of the thirteenth cen-
    tury the Romans established a series
    of posts placed at certain convenient
    intervals along the military roads
where couriers could be found ready to
carry, at top running speed, any dis-
patches or communications entrusted to
their care by officers or civilians. From
these stations or posts (Latin-positum)
came not only our names post office, post
box, postal service, etc., but our whole
letter-delivering service.
  The first United States rural mail ex-
periment in 1896 was in reality but a re-
turn to the very first public mail service
inaugurated in Rome so long ago. In-
stead of fleet runners the horse with
saddle-bags; instead of parchment scrolls'
in embossed cases were rude wooden
boxes stuck upon a gate post, nailed to
trees or fastened upon sticks. Truth to
tell the boxes to which important letters
and magazines were entrusted by these
first New England traveling post men
were generally but a soap box that was
neither sightly nor weather proof.
   Our people have always been credited
 with a fair amount of imagination and
 love of beauty, but a trip through either
 Eastern or Western rural districts will
 reveal a shockingly ugly lot of tottering,
 tipsy-looking mail boxes with scarce a
 neat, well made one to be seen, seldom
 one original of design, seldom indeed one
 proportioned properly, suitably or artis-
 tically. Just why this is so is hard to say
 for surely they are simple enough things
AT A
NEW ENGLAND CROSS-ROAD.
to design and to make. Those steel or
iron ones manufactured in such quanti-
ties by the Government have the virtue
at least of practicality. They can be se-
curely locked, hold their contents safe
through driving rains or snows and if
mounted on a post properly set in con-
crete or sunk deep in the ground and
braced with stones are neat enough; but
never was anything invented with less
RAISING THE FLAG TO WARN THE POSTMAN     itiAt
LETTERS ARE WITHIN.
293


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