Thread Number: 81466  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Mailboxes vs slots
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Post# 1055036   12/21/2019 at 14:02 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

Here where I live we all have mailboxes at the street. Around the older part of town though, most places have either a mailbox next to the door or a mail slot. I always wondered why this was so. I suppose it's possible that the mail carrier in those areas travel on foot sometimes, but typically I see the usual mail trucks/Jeeps there.

I remember also on British comedies seeing mail slots in the doors, so I guess in other countries it's common.

Post# 1055039 , Reply# 1   12/21/2019 at 14:40 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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When I was a kid, we had a mail slot in our wooden porch outside door and the carrier put everything through on the floor. After that door was replaced they installed a regular mailbox next to the door. Where I live now, it is a half mile round trip to the main road where mine and my neighbors boxes are. Since my road is considered a dirt camp road by them, the PO will not deliver here. Only other alternative is to PAY for a PO box, which I refuse to.

Post# 1055044 , Reply# 2   12/21/2019 at 16:26 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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Here in Canada traditionally has been a mailbox or slot at your front door if you live in a town/city etc. There maybe some places with the mailbox at the end of the driveway, not sure. When we lived in the country we had a mailbox at the end of the road. But some 20 odd years ago any new subdivisions no longer got to the door delivery and they put what they call super mailboxes on the corners where nearby residents would have to collect their mail. Then about 2 years ago they started discontinuing to the door mail in select areas first with plans to get rid of it nationwide but the furor put an end to that for now.. however the people that lost their traditional service still will not get it back

Post# 1055048 , Reply# 3   12/21/2019 at 17:13 by Kate1 (PNW)        

I am a mail carrier! There are different delivery types based on various factors. Most of my route is walking, so door to door delivering to a box on the porch or a slot. I still drive a standard mail truck. Very little of my route is curbside delivery and then a tiny bit is multi-box units. Walking is my favorite, itís the best part of my job.

Post# 1055058 , Reply# 4   12/21/2019 at 18:54 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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Kate1, I do have to say my regular carrier is wonderful as I know her usual time she wants to try to get everyone delivered. I do have Informed Delivery so I know what is coming along with a Milk Bone for my dog, which she loves. Last year the city PO where she has to go to get our mail now swapped routes around so the intown routes get their mail early morning and us our of the city are lucky to get it before dark now.

Post# 1055060 , Reply# 5   12/21/2019 at 18:58 by sfh074 ( )        
In the small town just east of San Diego ....

where I grew up, all the houses in the neighborhood had mail slots beside the front door. For blocks and blocks and blocks, just mail slots. Don't ever remember seeing an actual mail box at anyone's house. Most of the houses around us were built on fairly steep hills. I still remember my dad speaking empathy for that poor mailman that had to climb all those stairs to get to ours and all the other neighbors houses to put mail in slots. I can still see that huge mailbag he carried slung over his shoulder. Most of those homes were built in the mid 40's to late 50's. Slots must have been the default mailbox back then. Only problem was the outside slot was about 10" wide but the little wooden door on the inside was about 6" wide. Often times you had to fold/bend/twist magazines and circulars to get them out.

Post# 1055062 , Reply# 6   12/21/2019 at 19:04 by HotWater (NYC)        

Here in Manhattan... we still have foot service, and some friends of mine actually get their mail through a mailslot in their home.

As silly as it sounds, the whole concept was mind-blowing to me, for reasons you mentioned. You see it in TV Shows, but never in person.

Post# 1055064 , Reply# 7   12/21/2019 at 19:41 by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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Some residential areas in town are walk-routes with mail slots.† A few "exclusive" neighborhoods have community boxes.† Outskirts of town & rural areas are drive-routes with mailboxes at the road/driveway.† Post Orifice also has rental boxes.

Post# 1055076 , Reply# 8   12/21/2019 at 23:11 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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Off topic, but some might like this video showing a mail carrier dealing with a cat...


Post# 1055096 , Reply# 9   12/22/2019 at 03:58 by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        

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My best friend had a slot in the door for his mail.  At one time he had a Schnauzer that would rip apart the mail but only some times.  Some days he would come home from work and the mail was on the floor untouched and other days it was ripped to shreds.  He never figured out if the dog didn't like a certain carrier or mail from a certain individual.  He put a box outside and closed up the mail slot.  


It's amazing what we all do to accommodate our pets.

Post# 1055149 , Reply# 10   12/22/2019 at 14:25 by philcobendixduo (San Jose)        
Mail Slot Fear

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With all the craziness in the world today, I would be VERY afraid to have a mail slot in my front door.
Some "yahoo" could drop in a match, a firecracker, a hose and turn on the water, etc. etc.
Most all the homes in my area either have house-mounted mailboxes or street-side mailboxes.
A few have installed mail slots - most on a garage wall adjacent to the garage door.

Post# 1055162 , Reply# 11   12/22/2019 at 16:25 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

Most houses in my neighborhood have the mailbox mounted to the wall near the knob side of the front door. One neighbor has a mail slot in the side porch door. To the best of my knowledge, he's never had any issues with it.

My house originally had the box mounted to the wall, but my mom decided she wanted shutters on the windows and door, so the box was attached to a post at the side of the porch. When I started the major renovation, I had to move the mailbox away from the house as that wall was being torn out, so I got a big rural type and fastened it to a post next to the sidewalk. It came loose last Summer, so for the time being, it's sitting on a chair on the front porch. I'm trying to decide what type of permanent setup I want.

Post# 1055164 , Reply# 12   12/22/2019 at 17:01 by philcobendixduo (San Jose)        
Then there is the issue.....

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.....of the roadside mailboxes being used for "mailbox baseball" by yahoos.
Even here in suburbia, I see mailboxes that have been "bashed" which is why many now have them encased in brick, stone, etc.
Sadly, there will always be people that delight in destroying things for "fun".

Post# 1055170 , Reply# 13   12/22/2019 at 18:29 by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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The Cat video is awesome.

Post# 1055243 , Reply# 14   12/23/2019 at 14:34 by cadman (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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Talking with a friend recently who lives in Germany, he was curious what the little red 'flags' were on our mailboxes. Apparently, household mail pickup is unheard of there.

Post# 1055341 , Reply# 15   12/24/2019 at 05:31 by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Reply #12

We have the curbside mailboxes here.
Although I knew some people who engaged in "mailbox baseball" when they were young and foolish, I've never been a victim of it personally.
However, the mailman has damaged two of them with his truck in the roughly ten years that we've lived here.
The first time was shortly after we moved in. He knocked it completely off the post.
He came to the door and was going to file some sort of report or something.
Since it had slight damage before he hit it, I gave him a break and said not to worry about it.
A few years later, the replacement mailbox got hit again. Not as bad, and we have no way of knowing if it was the same mailman. But now, it's difficult, if not impossible to get the door to close properly.
One of these days, I'll get around to replacing it again.
We need a whole new post now, so I'll probably wait and do it all at the same time.


Post# 1055349 , Reply# 16   12/24/2019 at 08:38 by Rolls_rapide (0)        

Letterboxes (slots) in doors have been common here in the UK for more decades than that.

In the olden days, letterboxes wouldn't have existed. The courier would have knocked on the door. I suppose letterboxes greatly sped up postal deliveries, the Royal Mail having a mandatory duty to visit all UK addresses.

I few months ago, I saw the 1952 film 'Sudden Fear' with Joan Crawford and Jack Palance. During one scene of sneaking into an apartment, Joan Crawford hides by the door, as the US postman slips a letter under the door... yet there is a dedicated letterbox in the door itself.

Post# 1055350 , Reply# 17   12/24/2019 at 08:46 by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands)        

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In the Netherlands the Dutch Mail required an external letterbox when your house was a certain distance from the road. So my parents got one that was provided by the mail company. It was one just like the one in the picture. Theirs was in the hedge as well. My father cut a bit out of the hedge. When one of us emptied the mailbox there was a thin piece of rope with a knot and at the end a piece of wood for gravity. When there was mail delivered the rope fell down partly as a signal there was something in the mailbox, we could see that from the livingroom window. No extra handling done by the postman. Signals on letterboxes were indeed unknown here.

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Post# 1055352 , Reply# 18   12/24/2019 at 09:07 by estesguy (kansas)        

For years I lived in a neighborhood that had cluster boxes. I loved them. Sure its a mild inconvenience to walk to, but nice to have a secure lockable box. It could hold a weeks worth of my mail, so I could go on trips without stopping the mail. Now I moved to a rental that has curbside delivery again, and the area is new enough I'm surprised its allowed. With the Post Office always going on about operating in the red, I'm very surprised they just don't implement eminent domain and do away with mailbox home delivery and install cluster boxes everywhere feasible. It would seem to be a much more cost effective way than paying a carrier to walk door to door in a time consuming fashion.

Post# 1056324 , Reply# 19   1/2/2020 at 19:39 by cornutt (Huntsville, AL USA)        

When I was a child, in our neighborhood, the postman walked the route. Houses all had a mailbox next to the front door. If you had outgoing mail, you indicated it by leaving the lid open, or you had the option of taking it to the free-standing box on the corner. The lower half of that box was the drop box for the mailman -- the post office dropped off sorted mail to be delivered there, and when the mailman started his route, he went by there to pick it up. At the end of his route, he went back to the corner box to drop in the outgoing mail he'd collected, and some time later, the post office truck came by and picked it up.

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