Weird and wonderful letterboxes/mailboxes
Twenty-five strange and funny letterboxes formed one of the most popular exhibits at Sydney's Royal Easter Show last month. They were the pick of 68 entries in The Great Australian Letterbox Competition, which included replicas of flying pigs and rockets, golf clubs and an emu.
Showgoers were invited to vote for their favourite letterbox, which resulted in Suzy and Paul Murphy, from Sackville, New South Wales, winning a $14,250 tractor for their emu letterbox.
Surprisingly, one of the best collections of Australian and New Zealand letterbox photos is displayed on a website not based Down Under, but in the US. Its webmaster, Fred Rowe says:
I started collecting pictures after driving through a small region in which a number of neighboring families must have inspired each other to great heights. After that, I just developed a good "road eye". It helps that I take the time to peruse rural areas, simply because I enjoy getting off the beaten track -- nearly every one of my pictures are from rural areas.Fred's site includes pictures of a Lawnmower letterbox, The woodcutter's letterbox, Pig plus mushrooms, Plumbing parts letterbox, Sunflowers sprouting from letterbox, Knight protecting letterbox, and "a mailbox mounted on a cutely painted twig shredder -- junk mail is to be deposited directly into the shredder section."
Describing #79: Man+Dog letterbox, Fred says "One of my favorites. Every component of the man's attire (pants, shirt, belt, hat, shoes) is painted metal, i.e. there is no actual cloth or leather, honest! Cute that the dog fetches the mail in its mouth."
Another American, Sam Blomberg, displays an even larger collection showing dozens of bizarre mailboxes around the world. He says:
I have always been intrigued by the ability of a craftsman to take a boring mailbox and make it into a thing of interest, adventure or beauty-- or simply mount it in a way to catch my eye.We found an interesting article by Peggy Edersheim Kalb, a Wall Street Journal staff reporter, which began:
Charles Beaumont, an orthopedic surgeon in Woodbury, Conn., likes to show he's a nonconformist. So he adopted a "Rastafarian" look -- for his mailbox.And in the New Zealand Herald, Philippa Stevenson quoted a Bay of Plenty rural delivery driver as saying: "For the past four or five years I've been a relief driver. It sounds as if all runs must have the same problems - terrible boxes, ditches to negotiate and traffic up your bum on the main roads.
"Some are 'Arkwright' boxes - they have springs on the doors which slam shut before you can get the mail in them. Others are 'gorilla' boxes - they're so low that when the door flaps open you can't reach the bloody thing to shut it unless you have really long arms."