50 YEARS OF ZIP CODE

News

It was back in 1963. A historic and tumultuous year for those living in USA:
President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered “I Have a Dream” speech and the ZIP code was first introduced.

USPS was founded in 1775 and postal carriers had to rely on hand sorting based on local addresses. Correspondence went through 10 postal workers before it arrived as your local mail. By the 1940s, the Post Office realized its sorting system was not serving the country properly.

In 1943, the post office began placing one and two digit numbers between the city and the state to help clerks deal with the volume of mail, which was then around 20 million pieces per year.

By the early 1960s, the post-war population boom and continued western growth led to even greater use of the postal service. Mail doubled between 1943 and 1962, placing more pressure on the post office.

On July 1, 1963, USPS introduced the Zone Improvement Plan Code, which designated delivery areas. The first two or three numbers told carriers to which states mail was being sent. More populous regions like New York were given five digit numbers starting with 10-14, for example, whereas less populous areas like Montana received five-digit numbers.

In the digital age of e-mail and social media, getting a letter in the mail may take a little longer than a text. But according to CBS is Minnesota, one individual suddenly received a postcard dated all the way back to 1945. Maybe because it lacked zip code.

50 years after the ZIP code debuted, the postal service is now considering digital geographic information systems based on latitude and longitude to further increase delivery accuracy.

PO147 City Island Station NY 10464.1047-Latitude 40 50'50" N Longitude 73 47'13" W