Delivering the Mail

The following story I found in Postal Pleasures: Sex, Scandal, and Victorian Letters by Kate Thomas (2012). All quotations come directly from the text.

As the Post Office expanded and became more regulated during the Victorian era, it changed the face of a great deal of infrastructure in the UK, much of it in ways that people never anticipated. As such, there was occasionally some resistence to these changes.

"Before the spread of the postal system, there had been little requirement for streets to be named and houses numbered. As the postal service expanded, that changed rapidly and the Post Office found that not only did it need to introduce systematic naming and numbering, but it also needed to produce its own maps of towns and counties, featuring details never before represented cartographically" (20).

The accompanying footnote to this paragraph reads:

"A review article on the First Report of the Postmaster-General, on the Post-Office (1855) details the problems of 'faulty nomenclature' of streets and offers this anecdote to illustrate the irregularity and anomaly in the numbering of houses:

"'On arriving at a house in the middle of a street, I observed a brass number 95 on the door, the houses on each side being numbered respectively 14 and 16. A woman came to the door […] she said it was the number of a house she formerly lived at in another street, and it (meaning the brass plate) being a very good one, she thought it would do for her present residence as well as any other'".

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One Response to Delivering the Mail

  1. Pingback: BizarreVictoria: Celebrating 3 Years | BizarreVictoria

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