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

Placed DateMay 24 2005
Location03910, ME
Found BySW girlscouts
Last UpdateOct 22 2011

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.