About Us

For more than 28 years, Stan and Virginia Gula created one-of-a-kind items from their country workshop in New Hampshire. They have now chosen to retire from making banks, but will continue to sell wholesale bank items.

U.S. Postal History

Benjamin Franklin
The first post office opened in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1639, when in Richard Fairbanks' tavern became a repository for overseas mail. The first organized system of post offices, as we know it, was formed in 1711 to distribute mail more efficiently to a growing population, although there was no regular mail service in cities and no delivery service to rural communities. In 1775, Benjamin Franklin became the first Postmaster General under the Continental Congress.

The first "pigeon hole" nests were made entirely of wood, serviced and viewed only from the postmaster's side. Patrons had to wait in line to ask if they had mail. Stationary glass fronts with numbers on each pigeon hole were added around 1810, enabling patrons to see if they had mail before waiting in line for the postmaster. By 1857, the first lockbox door -- wooden -- enabled the postal service to offer self-service.

Postmasters had to purchase their own lockboxes, if they owned the building being used as a post office. The rental they collected was in addition to their yearly stipends or salary. Renting a P.O. Box was considered a mark of affluence, or of a thriving business. Postal regulations were instituted about 1907 when city home delivery began. The U.S. Postal Service ventured into real estate ownership.

The early lockbox doors had keys. These early door designs were works of art, with much detail. The mid- to late 1800s brought the keyless lock/combination. Keyless locks included one dial, two dials, dials with an integrated pointer ring, electric dials and push buttons. Combinations were 2 or 3 digits, using numbers, letters or points of a star. Doors have been made of wood, cast iron, aluminum, sheet metal brass, Bakelite, brass, zinc, and bronze. As the needs of the nation increased, mass production won. Art design suffered. Eventually, key locks returned, as postmasters find them easier to change.

E-mail
sales@rpcompany.com

Mail
R.P. & Company
27 Morning Glory Drive
Franklin, NH 03235

Telephone
603-671-7670 (home)
603-496-8082 (cell)
603-331-2626 (cell)

 
ęCopyright 2002-2017 R.P. & Company. Website designed and maintained by Lori Wright.