Amazing Mailbox Quest

ξGetting the mail used to the be the highlight of my day. Who knew what unexpected package or card might have been left by the postie? Nowadays, most things arrive by email and my mailbox is fast becoming redundant.

A miscellaneous row of mailboxes in a country lane

A miscellaneous row of mailboxes in a country lane

However, many people still rely heavily on their delivered mail and the mailbox stop is an important part of the daily or weekly routine. Some mail is exciting, some rather dull, some is just junk. But whatever the content, the mail is left in some sort of container, waiting for someone to come and retrieve it. It may be through the front door and onto the doormat, or it may be left in a box at the garden gate. Perhaps in a large array of identical mailboxes – differentiated only by the number on the front. Or, like the row of mailboxes in the image above, they may all be very different – just like their owners!

A favourite of mine – a milk churn mailbox

Recently, I noticed a mailbox in the shape of a Redback* spider! That got me thinking that it could be fun to set up a quest to see how many unusual mailboxes could be photographed and linked in some way.

Unfortunately, I could not stop to get a photo of the spider mailbox, but I did get the chance to get a few others later on that trip.

A Beer Keg mailbox

A beer keg mailbox

There must be so many wonderful, imaginative mailboxes around the world, perhaps there is one near where you live? As we become more reliant on email, these will gradually disappear. Who knows, in a decade or so, these communication hubs may disappear altogether. (This has already happened with phone booths in many areas. Where there is good mobile phone coverage – the public booths have vanished!)

So I think it would be a good idea to capture and record the mailbox era before it too, is gone. I have already found a few which I really liked and thought these could kick start the collection. These include the popular milk churn and one that I had never seen previously – a beer keg! (And I will try to get a photo of that spider mailbox next time I go past that way.)

The use of fridges as mailboxes was once very common in rural Australia and they are still occasionally seen. Fridges are a good place to store the milk, bread, mail and any other items that are regularly delivered. Because they are insulated, this keeps the contents relatively cool as well. The biggest plus though, is that marauding magpies, crows and goannas are not able to get to the goodies inside!

A previously popular: old fridge mailbox

Previously very popular in rural Australia: an old fridge mailbox

So if you spot a mailbox that is postworthy (pun intended :-)) and would like to add it to the quest, this is how to do it.

Get a photo (please either photograph without the owner’s details or cover/blur them so that they are not readily identifiable) and post it on your site. It would be good to know the country and state (perhaps?) of each entry, but to protect the privacy of the owners, please avoid any detailed location information in your post or in the photo(s).

Tag the post ‘Amazing Mailbox Quest’, then add a link to it in the comments on any of my ‘Amazing Mailbox Quest’ posts so that others can find your link. I will also add a link to the list on this page.

I imagine that it may take many months to collect these photos. Often they are only seen when out and about when travelling. So I will put an Amazing Mailbox Quest category on the header of my site. This will make it easy to find this post whenever you want to add a new image to the collection.

This could be a lot of fun and I look forward to seeing what everyone can find to share with other readers!

Latrodectus hasselti, the Redback spider

Latrodectus hasselti, the Redback spider (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

* Redback spiders are poisonous, but very distinctive spiders which occur quite commonly in southern areas of Australia. Not really the sort of thing that one would think of when designing a mailbox 🙂

Amazing mailbox contributions:

Have you ever…..

What other bloggers have found

  • Incoming or outgoing mail to the UK? Maybe this mailbox does both!
  • A firm favourite for mailbox subjects, Snaphappi has found another wonderful cow box to add to the mail delivery herd!
  • Anyone into mother and baby mailboxes, Snaphappi has found a real treasure!
  • What a gorgeous pink pig – Snaphappi has been busy with the camera and has snapped a great curly tail!
  • Scrapydo has found one which has a dire warning to all possums to stay away!
  • For those of you who enjoy boating, Scrapydo has found a motorboat engine for a mailbox!
  • Pommepal from ‘Memories are made of this’ has quite a few delightful mailbox additions including another very different Redback spider mailbox.
  • At Peregrination, Mudlips has found a mailbox that is set well back from the road and facing the wrong way! Follow the link to find out why!
  • Another great find from the Apple Isle. Pommepal has found a cow, a green pig (that she thinks should be painted pink!), the last old red mailbox in Tasmania, and a big one carved with a chainsaw!
  • A terrific mailbox has been added to our collection from Acacia National Park in Maine. A gorgeous, huge foghorn! Cross to Dogear’s lovely post and you will find a photo of this beauty about half way done the page.
  • Scrapydo from ‘Everything crafty’ has found yet another lovely mailbox from New Zealand. It is a ‘Wood cabin mail box‘ made by her neighbour.
  • Another great pair of mailboxes with dairy theme from Pommepal: a cow and a ‘whole lot of bull’!
  • And what about having a look at a delightful Manatee mailbox that was found by the author at the Priorhouse!
  • Anyone who likes metalwork will love Cee’s metalworker mailbox.
  • A firefighter lives here surely! For something very unusual, have a look at a mailbox made from a fire extinguisher!
  • Anyone for a robotic mail experience – have a look at this creation found by Snaphappi.
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69 Responses to Amazing Mailbox Quest

  1. adinparadise says:

    Some very interesting mailboxes there, Madoqua. I’ll keep my eyes open, but around where I live, all the mailboxes are required to be identical, grey and boring. 🙂

    Like

    • Madoqua says:

      Ad, I was interested to hear that you have a standard type of mailbox. Is it a local government requirement which is limited to your area, or is it a common practice everywhere?
      It is a pity because I think mailboxes reflect the personality of their owners to some extent!

      Like

  2. mudlips says:

    Oh yeah, mailboxes ARE cool. I’ve seen many I would love to photograph so I may have something to contribute in the coming months. I have to say my favorite above is the fridge mailbox. It reminds me of another appliance I saw while bike touring on a remote road several years ago. I will have to go find that photo! It was a stove with the door ajar and on it, a sign: “Open range.” I wonder now, if you have such signs in Australia? Here the official signs usually indicate the possibility of wandering livestock on unfenced rangeland. This one was somebody’s joke, and I still laugh at the sight of it. Oh, but you were talking about mailboxes…

    Like

    • Madoqua says:

      Oh Mudlips, the “open range” photo sounds hilarious, please do have a look and see if you can track it down! The scope of the quest can be broadened immediately to include such things!
      I think that bicycle riders may be in a prime situation to spot roadside humour! Motor vehicles are usually too fast and being on highways doesn’t help!
      In Australia, we are obliged to use ‘official’ signs for things like travelling stock – but those that used to be seen (before the law came in) were generally not very imaginative anyway!
      I am looking forward to your mailbox contributions over the next few months or so. Hopefully with lots of contributions we can have an entertaining string of connected blogs, just for the fun of it!

      Like

  3. What a wonderful idea Madoqua because you’re right, they’ll soon be a thing of the past! You know, I never saw a ‘fridge’ mailbox, but I can see they would have been handy for a bit of protection for food items. I’m dying to see your redback mailbox – goodness, I’d have trouble putting my hand in … 🙂

    Like

    • Madoqua says:

      Given that some people are so terrified of spiders, I would be worried that my postie would not see the creative side of a spider mailbox and refuse to deliver the mail!
      I would be delighted to see any mailboxes you might come across, Wanderlust Gene. With everyone spread far and wide around this big globe, we should be able to get a few nice contributions together!
      The Redback box is definitely on my list to capture, next time I am up that way.

      Like

  4. alderandash says:

    Brilliant idea. We don’t really have many mailboxes like this in the UK. I once drove through the Nevada desert in the US, and it was amazing to see rusty old mailboxes at the edge of the road – with no house in sight for miles. A sign that somebody was out there, somewhere. Or had been once.

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    • Madoqua says:

      It’s interesting that you don’t have a variety of post boxes in the US, I must admit to being a bit surprised about that.
      The mailbox and no house situation is interesting – they probably got mail so infrequently too.

      Like

      • alderandash says:

        Hi – sorry, my post was confusing. I’m actually in the UK – where we tend not to have mailboxes. (I guess as it’s a pretty small, crowded island, most people live close to roads etc, so the postie just pops to the front door). Some farms have mailboxes tho. I was just travelling in the US when I saw the mailboxes-without-houses. I guess there would have been a house somewhere nearby, but with all that space to play with, they could get pretty far from the track!

        Like

        • Madoqua says:

          Alderandash, I must apologise for not reading your comment properly, so sorry about that.
          I must admit, I was so impressed by the speed at which mail was delivered when I stayed in the UK at one stage! I was used to letters taking a week to get to their destination, commonly in the UK it seems to be only a day!
          I also love that people frequently have their front doors right on the footpath, so the mail comes through the door and onto the mat! This is so different to the places where I have lived where the mailbox is often at the garden gate.

          Like

  5. pommepal says:

    I will dig out some of my mail box photos I belonged to a camera club a few years back and one of the monthly projects was mail boxes, it was fun looking for them.
    Just a sad side affect of the fridge as a mailbox, a while back a ypoung child hid in one with one of those snap type locks and couldn’t get out by the time the frantic parents found him he was dead. This happened quite a while back and now they say to make sure they can be opened from the inside.

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  6. pommepal says:

    Ok (second try, first one dropped out!!!! 😦 ) Finally I hope I have managed to “post” my mail boxes…
    http://memoriesaremadeofthisblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/25/mailbox-challenge/

    Like

    • Madoqua says:

      These mailboxes are fantastic! Thanks so much for finding your photos and putting them up. I was intrigued by the different way of making the spider box. Again, I do wonder why this animal??

      Like

      • pommepal says:

        It is very iconic with that big red stripe. 15 years ago when we first bought this house there were lots of red backs lurking in unusual places, ie around the rubbish bin lid, under the BBQ table etc but now a days we don’t seem to see any.

        Like

  7. Pingback: Mail box! | scrapydo

  8. Pingback: Mailbox | peregrination

  9. mudlips says:

    Hi there, I just posted a blog about a mailbox.
    http://mudlips.wordpress.com/2013/04/18/mailbox/

    Like

  10. Amy says:

    What fun! I will have to begin paying attention to mailboxes… 🙂

    Like

  11. Pingback: Amazing Mailbox Quest | Memories are made of this

  12. Pingback: Amazing mail box Quest. | scrapydo

  13. Pingback: Amazing Mailboxes around the world | Something to Ponder About

  14. What fun! Love the collection. I have added a few of my own at my blog, and I found you via Scrapydo!http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/amazing-mailboxes-around-the-world/

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  15. Pingback: Amazing Mailbox Quest | Memories are made of this

  16. prior says:

    Hi – I came here from Pomme’s blog- and this blog looks like so much fun!!!
    Also, here is my share – a manatee mailbox from FL:

    and this is the post: http://priorhouse.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/1784/

    Like

  17. prior says:

    Hi Madoqua – I had to drop by and share this holiday mailbox I found – well I found it on another blog! hope that counts – – but here is the link to Amy’s blog
    http://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2014/12/21/tis-the-season/
    and here is a quick snapshot of it…

    Like

  18. prior says:

    Ok, I have another one to share – from Cee – and I will go and link her to this page 🙂
    but she found a metal worker’s mailbox!!!

    Like

  19. Pingback: Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge-Wk-43 | WoollyMuses

  20. Cee Neuner says:

    These are great mailboxes. 🙂

    Like

  21. I’m still in transit for another day, but I’ll take a look for unique mailboxes when I get home. I think it’s fun to have something unique like this, although I’ve seen some pretty tacky ones, like the one that looked like a gigantic golf ball. 😦 Doesn’t it just kill you not to be able to stop and take a photo you just know would be great?? And as for real mail, I miss it. It’s just not the same to get an email, although I do like them. I still try to send letters and cards whenever I can, although postage is getting expensive.

    janet

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  22. macmsue says:

    Have to jump on board, mail boxes are so much fun and it’s great to see the variety here. Thanks Madoqua for setting up the Quest. Here are a couple I’ve seen. http://wp.me/p2N0qn-sL

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