Posts tagged ‘post office’

March 3, 2013

Philately 2

Civil War astronomy envelope

Civil War “Adversity Cover”: As the war dragged on, the South, which was largely agricultural, ran out of manufactured products such as paper, steel, foodstuffs, and citizens, out of necessity, turned to using alternate products to conduct their ordinary business. Postally, old maps, accounting ledgers, navigational charts, bills of lading, and wallpaper were used to produce envelopes. Thus, “adversity” covers. Here is an example of a homemade envelope improvised from a black astronomical chart by Pvt. J.A. Wilson, 35th Mississippi volunteers, handcarried, possibly smuggled out from Vicksburg during the siege when there was no postal system operating. Highly unusual. [quoted from adjacent text]


None of these are worth their own post, I don’t think, but there were plenty of cool stamp-related things at the Westfield Stamp Show I mentioned yesterday, especially behind glass display cases (I finally got to use my new circular polarizer!).


Leather postcards

Raw Hide Philately (leather post cards): Leather Post Cards were a novelty in the early 20th Century period of Philately (1900-1920). …The U.S. Postal Regul[a]tions stated that Post Cards had to be made of Cardboard and the mailing rate was set at one cent. The Leather Post Card was considered Printed Matter and the mailing rate was set at two cents. Whenever the Post Office caught a non-cardboard Post Card mailed at the one cent Post Card rate, they applied a Postage Due fee of one cent to make up the two cent rate. [quoted from accompanying text]


Vassar postcard!

Leather postcard: Alma mater represent, w00t.



Letter from Puerto Rico to France, 1905

Registered letter posted October 16, 1905 to Areoibo, Puerto Rico to Paris, France. 5¢ UPU rate postage plus 8¢ registry fee paid using non-overprinted stamps.

November 28, 2012

Boxes upon boxes

Just some post boxes

Just some old post boxes in the Whitesbog general store.

December 23, 2011

Another super-duper post office!

Vauxhall Post Office

I have yet to read any Union Township historical references, and the internet kind of ignores Vauxhall, so I am afraid I can’t tell you anything about the Vauxhall post office. The architecture looks 1960s-1980s-ish (to my completely untrained eye), so it’s very likely not too historical anyway.

Here is what I can tell you: it’s a teeny smidgen east of a Whole Foods/ Best Buy/ Target shopping center, and its hours (as of December 2011) are:
M-F: 8:30am-5:00pm (lobby: 7:15-5:30)
Sat: 8:00am-12:00pm (lobby: 7:15-3:30)
Sun: Closed

Updates to hours can be found on the USPS website.

…Gosh I hope the post office doesn’t go completely out of business. 😦

November 11, 2011

Morristown post office

Morristown Post Office!!!! Exclamation points make everything exciting!!!!!!!

The Morristown post office was completed in 1916. Here’s a photo of it about four years later, c.1920.

Morristown post office, c.1920

(For more information about Morristown’s postal history, check out this PDF from the NJ Postal History Society. It’s pretty detailed.)

The Morristown post office’s hours are, as of November 2011, 8:15am-4:45pm M-F and 8:30am-12:30pm Saturday for retail, but 8:00am-6:00pm M-F and 8:00am-3:00pm Saturday just to get in the lobby. You can double-check the USPS website.

October 13, 2011

Scotch Plains Post Office

The Scotch Plains Post Office. Very exciting.

The Scotch Plains post office was expanded to its current size in 1997. For the duration of the construction, a trailer was used (much like New Providence!)

Otherwise… er, it’s a post office. Handles posts. That sort of thing.

* Hours for the Scotch Plains post office [USPS website], as of October 2011:
M-F: 8:30am-5:00pm
Sat: 8:30am-2:00pm



The Times of Scotch Plains — Fanwood. (1997). “Township post office expansion to begin this Saturday, July 5.” July 3, 27(9?).

The Times of Scotch Plains — Fanwood. (1997). “Construction underway at township post office.” August 7.

September 7, 2011

Chatham Post Office’s Sister


Remember when I showed you the Chatham Post Office? Of course you don’t, that’s why I just linked it.

This is the main storefront operation, as far as I can tell. Since my last Chatham P.O. post, the borough is apparently officially down to just one of these two post office buildings. (They list the annex only on the USPS website; back in June, they listed both (1) the post office and (2) the post office annex.)

Here’s a secret: I didn’t retouch the colors on this photo at all.

Here’s another secret: that was a lie.

July 25, 2011

Fanwood Post Office!

Fanwood Post Office!

The Fanwood post office and library have a lot in common.

The post office, like the library, started out in this 1897 building.

Ye old round-roofed Fanwood Library/ Post office/ etc.

The post office, like the library, moved to a storefront operation c.1928.

Fanwood post office, c. 1940

The post office, like the library, currently exists in its third building, shown at the top (featured photo).

* Hours for the Fanwood post office [USPS website], as of July 2011:
M-F: 8:30am-5:00pm
Sat: 8:30am-1:00pm



Bousquet, R. and Bousquet, S. (1995). Images of America: Scotch Plains and Fanwood. Arcadia Publishing: Dover, NH. ISBN 0738563188.

July 9, 2011

New Providence Post Office

A classy post office.

I’ve featured the Summit post office, and I’ve featured the Chatham post office, and I figured it was high time I featured the New Providence post office. So I consulted a map and sought it out.

And… it’s… a trailer.

While this was somewhere between tragic and hilarious, it didn’t quite seem in keeping with what I know of New Providence, so I did a little research.

The post office used to be an operation with an actual storefront in the Village Shopping Center. But a year after the Acme moved out, apparently the post office got kicked out so the A&P could expand into their space. Since then, the post office has functioned from these “temporary” quarters, in a back corner of the old A&P parking lot.

There’s hope! Last I heard, there were plans to relocate about 200 feet to a store in that old A&P shopping center—”retail-only,” so I guess you couldn’t actually mail anything there (?). Theoretically, the move is supposed to happen this very month, but I guess we’ll wait and see.



Nagi, A. 2010. “Post office begins countdown to move.” New Providence Patch.

Neavill, M. 2010. “New Providence post office selects Central Avenue location.” Independent Press.

June 8, 2011

U is for USPS

United we post.

I will admit that “United States Post Office” is a bit of a copout, but there are shockingly few architectural terms that begin with U. It doesn’t get much easier for the last five letters, either. Bleahhhhh.

Now, I’m not sure about this, but it seems that Chatham (Borough) has two post offices, about 100-200 feet apart (30-60 meters). This is the one in the back, where all the parking is located; there’s also an ugly little storefront on Main Street. According to, one of them is the Annex. I couldn’t tell you the functional difference between ’em, though.

January 10, 2011

Going postal

The Summit Post Office!

Because I happen to live on the border of New Providence and Summit, and because it is easier for Summit mail trucks to get to me, my mailing address is in Summit. As such, this is my post office, even though I technically live on the New Providence side!

The inside is unremarkable. When I was in Chicago, a friend dragged me into a post office once, and I gaped. It was beautiful! Majestic! Huge! Amazing!

“What, this?” he asked incredulously. “It’s… very common.”

He, who grew up in a city, was perfectly jaded to the big beautiful buildings that urban areas always seem to have for post offices. In suburbia, on the other hand… post offices are functional, and that’s about all you can say about ’em.

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