Keep In Touch Series #3: Mr. Zip  LbNA # 15269

Placed DateMay 24 2005
Location03910, ME
Found By SW girlscouts
Last Found Oct 22 2011
Hike Distance?

In the early 1960s, the Post Office Department faced rapidly growing mail volumes. They developed a 5-digit number code to be added for each address. This code,the ZIP Code™ helped to quickly sort mail and speed its delivery, but Department officials were concerned that Americans would not easily accept or adopt adding unfamiliar 5-digit numbers to each address.

Enter Mr. ZIP™, a little stick figure character who used a letter and satchel to convince Americans to use a ZIP Code when addressing mail. The use of the ZIP Code system began on July 1, 1963. Within a year, between a third and a half of mail had a ZIP Code. Today, virtually everyone uses a ZIP Code.

Mr. ZIP was based on an original design by Harold Wilcox, son of a letter carrier and a member of the Cunningham and Walsh advertising agency, for use by a New York bank in a bank-by-mail campaign. Wilcox's design was a child-like sketch of a postman delivering a letter. The figure was used only a few times then filed away. Later, AT&T acquired the design and made it available to the Post Office Department at no cost.

Post Office Department artists retained the face but sharpened the limbs and torso and added a mail bag. The new figure, dubbed Mr. ZIP, was unveiled at a convention of postmasters in October 1962. Until January 1986, his image was printed in the white area outside of the stamp, known as the selvage.

Currently undergoing a renaissance, the Mr. ZIP character is being updated by the Postal Service™ for licensing and other purposes, extending his cultural icon status to a new generation of Americans.

Go to the Office. Park at the far end of the lot. Find and follow the boulders along the back property line. When they end, a "real" wall continues. Look over this wall and find a big "natural" split rock with a birch growing out of it. What you seek is in the split covered with debris. Please be discreet as this is a very public place. Enjoy and rehide well.