When I first started Forgotten NY in 1998, there were still a number of small slotted mailboxes, mounted on telephone poles or on their own pebbled concrete posts. Every one of them has now disappeared, replaced by the large, bulky blue mailboxes. I found a corner in Forest Hills Gardens on Ascan Avenue and Greenway South on which the remnant of one can be seen alongside the “new” model.
Not only did the pebbled concrete post hold a small mailbox, the date of installation, 1938, is stamped onto the side of the post! Though there are still a few dozen of these concrete posts around NYC, only some have the date.
In addition, most of the big blue boxes also have the date of manufacturer–in this case, 1955–as well as the manufacturer itself, embossed near the bottom of the receptacle. Thus, this corner in Forest Hills Gardens has a short history of NYC mailboxes right there for anyone who’s curious.
Sorry about the blurry shot; a tight zoom like this requires a tripod and I don’t want to haul one around.
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