U.S. Post Office repairs, replaces standard blue mailboxes

By Shawn Ley - Reporter

LINCOLN PARK, Mich. - United States Post Office letter boxes are being repaired and replaced this holiday weekend throughout metro Detroit.

The old blue boxes on street corners have been around since 1858.

Chances are, if you’re lucky enough to have a box in your neighborhood, it may look new, but it’s likely a vintage box and holds a lot of history.

“We don’t replace boxes with new ones. We repair them, repaint them and move them around the area,” says Paul, a USPS employee who is doing the replacement work this weekend.

Local 4 found him on Dix-Toledo Road in Lincoln Park removing a box that dated back to 1975 with a box that looked new, but was actually much older. The “fresh” letter box going in actually has the date of 1955 on it.

“We do this all the time,” Paul said. Paul was willing to show Local 4 his handiwork but wasn’t willing to give his last name.

However, people out and about this weekend couldn’t miss him. His USPS work truck was packed with new looking letter boxes and old, rusted boxes.

“We sand them down, get the rust off and replace them,” he said.

Here’s some letter box history:

• The first box was sanctioned by the USPS in 1858
• Today’s boxes date back to 1894
• Original boxes were painted Army green
• By 1955 boxes were red, white & blue
• 1971 is when the boxes were painted blue

On line bill paying could make the blue boxes a bit of American history, but it’s always nice to have one where you live, and now you know that that box you trust with your cards, letters and bills has been around for decades and gets a makeover from time to time.

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