The History and Evolution of Centralized Mailbox Systems

The History and Evolution of Centralized Mailbox Systems

Centralized mailbox systems are commonplace around apartments and suburban neighborhoods. The reason for this frequency is that centralized units can fit a lot of items into a relatively small and very visually appealing compartment system. It seems like such a straightforward design, but it took many years to get here. Keep reading to learn the history and evolution of centralized mailbox systems.

The 1800s

The birth of the mail system we see today dates all the way back to the 1800s. There wasn’t one big event that kicked off centralized mailbox systems, but the right pieces began to fall into place in the early 1860s. Starting in 1863, free city delivery ensured residents in big cities could receive personal mail with ease. It wasn’t until 1896 that free delivery was provided to families living in rural areas. It was a steady roll-out, but as you’ll learn below, the 1900s saw the mail system evolve in very efficient ways.

Cluster Box Units

The next step in the history and evolution of centralized mailbox systems takes us to the ‘60s. During the 1960s, cluster mailbox units were introduced in a small capacity, expanding over many years to apartment buildings and communities that needed secure, bulk mail storage for deliveries.

This design ensured delivery services could quickly drop off letters or packages for many residents in one stop. The volume of packages and cluster box units continued growing to such popularity that, in the early 2000s, the delivery system design continued to evolve.

The Modern Mailbox

In 2006, the USPS made the modern STD-4C mailbox a requirement for multi-unit buildings to ensure security and efficiency for everyone. Given how long ago 2006 was, you may assume this design has been replaced by many new mailboxes since then, but the STD-4C remains as common and reliable as it has always been.

For example, at Postal Supply, our centralized mailboxes still contain the STD-4C models in different variations to ensure we can provide communities and apartment buildings with a USPS-approved centralized system. After reading this quick history of centralized mailboxes, browse the modern mailboxes available now to ensure your system is as compliant and secure as it should be.