The first mailbox appeared about 500 years ago. And although now people mainly send emails to each other, it was this simple device that was at the origin of the development of the postal service.
There is not one episode that can be consideredThe first mention of this invention. Three of them date back to the beginning of the 16th century. Then in Florence appeared wooden "tambours", which had a slot above and served to collect letters. They were usually installed near churches, and city residents often used them to toss anonymous letters there against state traitors.
Around the same time EnglishSeafarers near the Cape of Good Hope were placed boxes made of stone, served as a buffer for the exchange of written information with other ships. Similar devices were available from seafarers from Holland.
The Austrians also used mailboxes as early as 16Century, although they were very modest in size and not stationary, but portable: postmen wore them, attaching them to a belt thrown over their shoulders. The city of Legnica, located on the territory of modern Poland, also has claims to the first mention of the mailbox. There, according to the chronicles, it began to be used already in 1633. About boxes for the collection of letters is said and in the archival materials of the Parisian city mail, the moment of foundation of which is considered 1653 year.
In the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union
The very first mail boxes appeared in the middle19th century on the streets of the largest cities of the Russian Empire: Moscow and St. Petersburg. Soon they began to be installed in other regions. The first boxes were made of wood, but very quickly they were replaced with metal ones with the image of a postal envelope. And in 1901, boxes of orange began to appear. The postal service worked very quickly: letters and postcards, thrown in boxes, were sent to the destination on the same day by rail.
In those years, the boxes that hung in the mail receiving roomsPoints, had two compartments. One was locked with a key and was intended for incoming correspondence. And the second one was opened and used to store letters that were returned with a long absence of the addressee or the inability to find it.
In the 1920s in Moscow, boxes for receiving letters were posted directly on tramcar trailers. When the tram stopped near the post office, the postal workers took out letters for further dispatch.
Now there is an unusual museum in KaliningradMailboxes, numbering about 70 exhibits, collected around the world. For the entrance to it you do not need to pay, because the exposition is located directly on the street, on the wall of one of the buildings in the historical part of the city.