The history of a mailbox (USA) starts in early 1863. Free City Delivery (US Post Office Department) begun to deliver mail right at your home doors. But that’s not the best time for mailboxes. Only some people were using them and most of them, until 1916, got mail from a mail carrier, who knocked on the door and waited for you to answer. They even waited 10-20 minutes, because mail must be delivered.
Mailman lost more than 1.5 hours per day just because they waited for people to get the mail. Post Office Department decided that that’s not efficient and it ordered that every house, apartment, company or every house must have a letter slot or mailbox; otherwise, mail will not be delivered.
Mailbox era began, so homeowners and businesses started to install letter slot or/and mailboxes to receive mail. But that was not enough, so Post Office began to encourage home and business owners to install wall-mounted mailboxes outside of the house, near the entrance. These mailboxes saved outgoing mail from water or other humidity, and it was easier for the mailman to deposit the mail.
Also, that was not enough, and mail delivery was not as fast as they wanted, so an idea of individual mailboxes appeared. These mailboxes had to be mounted on fence posts, lamp-posts or other supportive things. This idea was rejected but in the countryside, it was adopted. Mailboxes were located on a rural roads, so mailman did not have to go all way into the farm or house to deliver mail. Right now it would be nothing, but that time ago there were no fast cars, but horse wagons and slow motor steam vehicles.
Before rural free delivery (RFD) in 1896, almost none of rural residents had no access to the mail, and they had to collect it at a post office. Mostly mail office was miles away from their homes. Richer people hired a private company who delivered mail for them. Even after RFD establishment farmers and homeowners resisted to install mailboxes and they left empty baskets, boxes or wooden crated at the roadside for the mailman. But in 1923 Post Office made a law that every household must have a mailbox or mail slot if they want to receive mail. So the real mailbox era began in 1923.
Fact: Some mailboxes had a red flag which you can lift up if there is any outgoing mail. It helps mailman to skip empty mailboxes.
In these days mailboxes have stayed almost as same as in 1900’s. Only difference – they become smarter and safer. For example, in Sweden, there are an automated opening letterboxes. You have a key which you put near the sensor, and your mailbox opens. Safe huh?
Before buying a mailbox, you should ask yourself these questions:
1. What kind of weather mailbox will have to handle?
2. Do you also receive small packages from Amazon, eBay or Aliexpress?
3. Do you want your mailbox to be mounted on the wall, fence or doors, or it will be at the end of the driveway?
4. How many people will use that mailbox?
After asking these questions read everything that’s written further. I will try to explain everything.
From what kind of materials is mailbox made
There are few types of materials that are used to make mailboxes. All of them have good and bad sides.
Stainless Steel – Heavy and durable and does not rust like a casual metal. It will rust, but slower and will take ages. Stainless steel mailbox is good for outdoors or for places with rough weather.
Aluminum – Light, good for a short time or in places where weather can not do its harsh job, like a lot of rain. Will rust and look bad after few years.
Plastic – excellent option for mid-temperature regions. Should be avoided if you have very high temperature because it will deform. They are quite durable and will not rust and will look good for longer time. I would go for plastic if you have found a specific design and there are no other choices. Otherwise, they are easier to access by burglars.
Brass – my favorite material. Looks elegant and have a lot of character. Mostly has a historical look. Brass likes to be frequently polished and shining also. If you do not polish it, it will start to get that green color, and if a green color comes up, mailbox will look dirty and neglected.
Wood – Mostly used in old mailboxes. In my country, we still have wood mailboxes everywhere. They are not as common as other materials, but it looks great! If you want to use it outside be sure that it’s properly sealed and weather can not affect it.
Like all things also mailbox can get more features.
Locking – Mailboxes with a locking feature will be more secure (how obvious) than a usual mailbox. If you live in a neighborhood where stealing is a common thing, or you are receiving mail, which has value, then locking is must have feature.
Access from the back – I have seen mailboxes which have both side access. It means you don’t need to go outside of house to get mail.
Holder for newspapers or ads – I think everybody is receiving that large amount of ads from local shops and pharmacies or just useless magazines and your letter from a cousin is crushed inside and does look like it was coming from Hogwarts. There comes an extra holder so you still have space for usual mail.
Personalization – Number and/or letters, house name or your name? Not a problem! Good mailbox seller is offering customization, and if not, there are plenty of ways to do it by yourself.
There are plenty of mailbox types.
Post mounted mailbox – This type of mailboxes you can see at the end of the driveway. Also on the edge of the yard or near the walking path inside the property. You can see them in neighborhoods or rural areas where mailman is coming by vehicle and don’t want to jump off near every house. You can mount these mailboxes on wooden posts, iron posts and many other things. You can get creative and make it more like your yard character. Many colors, materials, and styles plus personalization is a perfect mailbox for you.!
Wall mounted mailbox – mostly used on main home doors or gates. Mostly used in places where are many mailboxes or where homes are close to each other so mailman can easy access it. One of the easiest way to receive mail, because if you install a 2-way mailbox, you can even open mailbox from inside. And trust me, it’s not hard to go to the other side of doors too.
Column mounted mailbox – Imagine a Villa in Croatia or San-Francisco or Malta. And then imagine a large, good looking stone or rock. And now imagine mailbox inside it. Yes, that’s how usually column mounted mailbox looks. Very sturdy mailboxes and some of them are standing even for hundreds of years. Mostly you almost never see the mailbox because it’s inside the column or stone.
Mail slot – good old mail slots. One of the first type of mailboxes. After late 70’s, they are not very popular. Nobody makes doors with mail slot inside, but you can still buy old looking mail slot and install by yourself. I think this is one of the safest ways to receive mail yet it’s not the best because your mail usually lays on the floor. Be aware that you cat or dog may like that flying mail.
Which mailbox is right for me?
How is post office delivering mail to you? By car, by foot or by plane? Make sure that they don’t have any difficulties to put mail in your mailbox. Face it to the right direction and don’t make mailman go through ten gates and 3 dog fields. And nothing is angrier than a mail carrier who needs to get out of the car and walk inside your yard. It takes more time, and it’s better to install post mounted mailbox.
The mailbox should be as high as 41 to 56 inches from the ground. It needs to have a house number in the numerical form, and they should be 6-9 inches from the curb.
Your mailbox also must be approved by the USPS. They regulate all mailboxes.
It’s hard for me to tell which will be the best mailbox for you because it depends on the place where you live, is it rural or in the city. Is your house historical or modern architecture. Mostly people just grab first one and live with that. I told everything I know about mailboxes, materials, and customization and here is a list of best mailbox but now the choice is in your hands.
I have noticed that ancient mailboxes are coming back into fashion. So, which are the best mailbox? Which are the best locking mailbox? These!
Best post mounted mailbox
Price says everything. It’s durable, cheap and not bad looking mailbox. If you don’t want to spend much money and need a cheap mailbox for a couple of years, this is the number one! It does not come with mounting hardware, but hey, it’s cheaper than 6-pack of beers. You cannot go wrong for this price. Actually, this is the simplest mailbox I have ever seen and as you all know the simplest things are the best.
Put some vinyl decals, and you have a good looking mailbox. I would buy this if you had almost the same so you can use the same post mount. If you don’t have a post the you can find it here.
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The Charleston Mailbox and Post Combo System comes from Atlanta, Georgia. One of my favorite mailbox makers. I have not seen a single Charleston mailbox which has rust or are bad looking. They are beautiful, sturdy and trustable. They are making mailbox from aluminum, and it’s painted with black powder paint. They promise that it will never rust. Everything you will need for assembly is included, also hardware. All holes are pre-drilled. 5 two inch brass numbers are included in the purchase. after purchase, they will contact you to ask correct house numbers! The thing I like about aluminum mailboxes that you can fix them if somebody crushes it. Very easy to set up, but lack instructions how to screw everything together. For this money, it’s the best mailbox in the market.
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Another great mailbox from Gibraltar. It’s attractive and classic looking mailbox. It also has locking feature. Otherwise, the slot where you put received mall is too small. I would like it bigger. Be careful to screw everything together tightly, because it can leak in heavy rain. I suggest tightening all screws every year, so it does not fall in high wind. It’s good mailbox, but you will need to take care of it. For this price it’s good all-in mailbox.
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Best Wall mounted mailbox
Great looking mailbox. Especially would look good on a brick wall. This mailbox comes with two keys, and it’s possible to lock chute for the mailman. Mail emblem looks total shit, but it’s not. Even after a year it still holds good and looks as new. Of course, it’s not necessary to use those emblems, but why not. In this mailbox even large envelopes will fit in. So don’t worry if mailman will try to squeeze your parcels inside. And it’s lockable, so your mail will be safe.! Screws are not included, but it’s not a problem. Mailbox has a cover, so it’s safe in the rain, but it’s not completely safe from rain. It will get humid inside. Not wet, but humid. For this price, it’s awesome mailbox. It’s safe, good looking, food quality and cheap.
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My favorite wall mounted mailbox. It’s easy to lock. It’s durable and good looking. It has a metal bar under the cover so no one can reach your content. This mailbox comes with a huge variety of mounting screws for all kind of walls. This mailbox has only few cons – color will fade after few years. The small red flag also starts to become white, but that’s because of fo the sun. If you don’t have sun 300 days per year, then it’s going to be OK. But, this mailbox is fully weatherproof. It’s dry even in the highest winds and rains. Put inside your outgoing letters, raise the red flag and you are set. It’s large also! All your junk mail will fit there. Front doors are made from aluminum as same as trays. Back and sides are made of heavy duty plastic.
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3. ALEKO USMB-03 Wall Mounted MailBox
Great mailbox from Aleko. It comes with big, high-quality screws and it’s easy to hang it! I like this mailbox because of the place for journals or spam papers. There is also mass windows with plexiglass so you can see if you have mail. Just remember to remind your mailman to use bottom part for magazines and spam papers and the top slot for envelopes. Otherwise, it’s large, it has a lock, it’s high-quality and has everything you need.
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It does not matter which mailbox you choose if you take your time to check all of them and look at their designs, quality and which will look good in front of your doors or yard. Most of them will have the same good quality, but mailboxes which I showed you here are the best quality in the market. By the way there is a perfect list of secure mailboxes – https://www.mailboss.com