Rural Free Delivery Mailbox, 1900-1916

Summary

In the early years of rural mail delivery, farmers could use whatever was at hand as a mailbox -- pails, cans, or wooden crates. When rural free delivery became permanent and universal in 1902, the United States Post Office required rural customers to have regulation mailboxes in order to receive their mail.

In the early years of rural mail delivery, farmers could use whatever was at hand as a mailbox -- pails, cans, or wooden crates. When rural free delivery became permanent and universal in 1902, the United States Post Office required rural customers to have regulation mailboxes in order to receive their mail.

Artifact

Mailbox

Date Made

1900-1916

Creators

Signal Mail Box Company 

Hawley, William G. 

Place of Creation

United States, Illinois, Joliet 

Creator Notes

Patent held by William G. Hawley of the Bate Hawley Postal Box Signal Company in San Jose, California; this particular mailbox manufactured by the Signal Mail Box Company in Joliet, Illinois.

Location

Not on exhibit to the public.

Object ID

2014.0.17.95

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Material

Metal
Sheet Steel

Color

Gray (Color)
White (Color)

Dimensions

Height: 12 in

Width: 7 in

Length: 19.25 in

Inscriptions

On front: BATES-HAWLEY/ PATENT/ JUNE 27 1899/ U.S./ MAIL/ STYLE 3A/ SIGNAL MAIL BOX CO./ JOLIET ILLINOIS On side: 20 On side: APPROVED BY THE/ POSTMASTER GENERAL

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