more than 28 years, Stan and Virginia Gula created
one-of-a-kind items from their country workshop in New
They have now chosen to retire from making banks, but will
continue to sell wholesale bank items.
U.S. Postal History
The first post office opened in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1639,
when in Richard Fairbanks' tavern became a repository for overseas
mail. The first organized system of post offices, as we know
it, was formed in 1711 to distribute mail more efficiently to
a growing population, although there was no regular mail service
in cities and no delivery service to rural communities. In 1775,
Benjamin Franklin became the first Postmaster General under
the Continental Congress.
The first "pigeon hole" nests were made entirely
of wood, serviced and viewed only from the postmaster's side.
had to wait in line to ask if they had mail. Stationary glass
fronts with numbers on each pigeon hole were added around 1810,
enabling patrons to see if they had mail before waiting in
for the postmaster. By 1857, the first lockbox door -- wooden
-- enabled the postal service to offer self-service.
Postmasters had to purchase their own lockboxes, if they owned
the building being used as a post office. The rental they collected
was in addition to their yearly stipends or salary. Renting
a P.O. Box was considered a mark of affluence, or of a thriving
business. Postal regulations were instituted about 1907 when
city home delivery began. The U.S. Postal Service ventured into
real estate ownership.
The early lockbox doors had keys. These early door designs were
works of art, with much detail. The mid- to late 1800s brought
the keyless lock/combination. Keyless locks included one dial,
two dials, dials with an integrated pointer ring, electric dials
and push buttons. Combinations were 2 or 3 digits, using numbers,
letters or points of a star. Doors have been made of wood, cast
iron, aluminum, sheet metal brass, Bakelite, brass, zinc, and
bronze. As the needs of the nation increased, mass production
won. Art design suffered. Eventually, key locks returned, as
postmasters find them easier to change.
R.P. & Company
27 Morning Glory Drive
Franklin, NH 03235