Who Invented The Mailbox?

The gadget that was first conceptualized by Phillip Bell Downing is still used by a significant number of people today in a manner that is essentially indistinguishable from how it was first conceived. That container is known as a mailbox, and it is a common sight in the neighborhoods of our cities and towns throughout the nation. It stands on four legs and, as a result of the distinctive design elements it has, has caused dramatic shifts in every aspect of our postal distribution system.

Born and raised in the city of Providence, Rhode Island March 22, 1857. The full title of the state is “the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,” however most people just call it “Rhode Island.” Because of the connection to slavery, there is now a movement to amend it so that the Providence Plantations are removed. Aside from that, the fact that it is now feasible to write the name of the state without traveling over state boundaries is one of the things that has changed as a result of this. It’s only joking around, but…

Downing was born into a family that was already highly established in the community. George T. Downing, Phillip’s father, was a prominent abolitionist as well as a successful business entrepreneur. The history of his mother, Serena L. deGrasse’s family in New York, New York, dates back to the middle of the 1600s. His father’s family originated in Virginia and had parents who were freed from slavery.

In the year 1825, he was the owner of Downing’s Oyster house, which was located in the financial center of Manhattan. It was widely considered to be among the city’s finest restaurants. In the middle of the 1830s, Thomas was an essential figure in the formation of the United Anti-Slavery Society of New York, which was an organization that worked to abolish slavery.

As a result of his father’s position as manager of the dining room in the United States House of Representatives, Phillip Downing spent a part of his formative years in the nation’s capital. In the year 1880, they made the journey to Boston. Following the relocation, he wed Evangeline Howard, and the couple went on to have two children together: Antonia and Phillip Jr.

With an inventive mind, his first patent was for an improvement in streetcar and train switches which allowed the switch to be opened or closed by the brakeman from the platform of the car. This invention eventually led to the development of the light switch that is used today.

On October 27, 1891, Downing was awarded a patent that would irrevocably alter the way mail was delivered. This patent was for a Street Letter Box, which is basically a box that can be found all over the nation and in which a letter may be sent at any time of the day. Close and convenient. It eliminated the need that a person physically travels to the post office in order to send a letter.

It contained a safety function that made the mail secure until it is picked up by postal staff and a feature that prevented adverse weather such as rain and snow from harming the mail. Both of these features were incorporated into the system.

It is possible that he also has the patent for the letterbox that is often seen in rural mailboxes; this theory has been put forth. Prolific minds continue to produce and 25 years later Downing received a patent for an envelope moistener which was a roller and small water reservoir to quickly moisten envelopes and stamps. Because we now have self-adhesive stamps and envelopes, there is no longer a need for them.