Before the year 1891, it would have been extremely difficult to mail a letter, because it would have required a long trip to your local post office.
That was until an inventor, Philip B. Downing (1857-1934) invented the street letter box, which was basically a metal box with four feet that allowed people to conveniently drop off their letter to be picked up by the post office and mailed to the recipient.
Downing patented his street letter box on October 27, 1891.
A year earlier, Downing patented an electrical device that for railroads which allowed workers to turn on and turn off power to trains at appropriate times. Electrical switches, including light switches used in the home, are in use today because of his design.
Downing patented a few other inventions designed to make life a little more convenient.
Downing’s Street Letter Box is the predecessor to what we call today, the corner mailbox.
For further information on Phillip B. Downing, check out these links…
Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of TNC Network.