Obsolete: postbox

A now-removed NZ Post mail box in Kaikorai Valley, Dunedin. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
A now-removed NZ Post mail box in Kaikorai Valley, Dunedin. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Obsolete item: Postbox

Born: 1653 in Paris

Death: Imminent.

Use: A metal box in a public place where letters are collected for delivery by the postal service.

Description: Postboxes were once a source of national pride, emblazoned with the crown and initials of the reigning sovereign, and were painted a dazzling scarlet.

Along with the letter delivery service, the postbox is fast disappearing as people prefer to communicate by email, text message and social media.

As postboxes fall out of use, they get removed. Former Company of the Year New Zealand Post is hastening this process by removing them before people have actually stopped using them. They have also ditched the most awesome colour, red, in favour of a drab dark blue as their corporate hue, while a new logo resembling an intestinal parasite replaces their nifty "NZ" monogram folded into an envelope shape.

Comeback: There was a brief flirtation with competing mail services and document exchanges, with their own weird-shaped plastic boxes in different colours; these also encounter the problems of a diminishing market for physical letter delivery. 

 - Peter Dowden

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