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 Post subject: Mailbox on a street car (Des Moines, IA)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:16 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:20 pm
Posts: 437
This negative is on Ebay. The pic was shot in Des Moines, apparently 1946.

I don't know much about trolleys & interurbans, but I've never seen a US Mail box on the end of a trolley like this. Kind of neat!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1946-U-S-Mail-B ... Sw4CFYt4-7


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 Post subject: Re: Mailbox on a street car (Des Moines, IA)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:37 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:28 am
Posts: 192
Location: Dallas, TX
At one time, there were many cities with postal streetcars, but this is unique. Most streetcars had a slot near the door where letters could be deposited and the mail clerk inside would sort them en route, similar to the railroad RPOs. When the trolley arrived at the post office, the letters were transferred to the main office for further sorting and distribution to the local carriers.

The big cities had more than one delivery a day to homes and business so it was not unusual to have a letter delivered across town the same day. I do not know when the trolley mail cars ceased to be used, but I would guess in the 1929-1930's years of the depression at the latest, and maybe earlier as the automobiles encroached on traffic patterns and profits. As early as 1922, trolley ridership had peaked and streetcar systems were eliminated or started using buses that did not need the costly overhead or track expense.

Harry Nicholls

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 Post subject: Re: Mailbox on a street car (Des Moines, IA)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:32 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2435
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Knoxville had a fleet of single truck curve sided cars built by the Cincinnati Car Co that had mail slots on them as well.

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David M. Wilkins

"They Love Him for the Enemies He Has Made!"


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 Post subject: Re: Mailbox on a street car (Des Moines, IA)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:33 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:20 pm
Posts: 437
Cool. I had no idea there was ever mail pickup by trolleys, so thanks for the info.


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 Post subject: Re: Mailbox on a street car (Des Moines, IA)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:57 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 909
Hi,

I recall Mom (1930-2012) talking about dropping letters in mailboxes on streetcars in Harrisburg, PA.

It makes sense for trolley RPOs but I never realized it.

Thanks.

Doug vV


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 Post subject: Re: Mailbox on a street car (Des Moines, IA)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:18 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:52 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Pittsburgh
When I was in Europe in the summer of 1968, the trams in Amsterdam had mailboxes hanging on the rear of the car.

/s/ Larry
Lawrence G. Lovejoy, P.E.


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 Post subject: Re: Mailbox on a street car (Des Moines, IA)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:12 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2435
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
A Knoxville body has had a very thorough cosmetic restoration (including replicating the truck!) and is on display at the East Tennessee History Center. I dug out my photos from a visit a number of years ago, you can see the mail slot behind the front door, and then a closeup.


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David M. Wilkins

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 Post subject: Re: Mailbox on a street car (Des Moines, IA)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:44 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:20 pm
Posts: 437
The sight of that restored Knoxville car is enough to chase away the winter blues. What a nice museum exhibit and restoration.

While searching just now, I also ran across your blog report on the car.

Thanks for posting.


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