Posted by: Author | June 8, 2012

Friday Facts- June 8, 2012- Mr. Zip

My grandfather was a mailman. He rode a rural route in north Alabama and his customers loved him. Every year at Christmas, he got baked goodies and other treats from each and every one of them. My grandparents had an L-shaped bar in the area between the kitchen and the breakfast nook and that sucker would be filled in every available spot with these treats. It was a veritable smorgasboard of dental work waiting to happen.

Anyway, when zip codes were still new and people didn’t like to use them, or forgot them, it would drive my grand dad crazy. He always drummed it into us that you could leave off the city and state totally from the envelope if you had that zip code. That code was the most important thing to put on there.

The US Postal Service agreed (probably who drilled it into him) and they came up with a cute little mascot called Mr. Zip (or Zippy) to encourage folks to use the number. It must have worked becaus Mr. Zip is no longer in use. He was around in the
1960s and 1970s.

Interestingly, the new zip codes with the four digits added to the end let your postal carrier know within a block or so of where your home or business is. I know a lot of folks who never put those last four on. Mayhaps Mr. Zip needs to be revived? Call him Mr. Zip + four?


  1. Okay. I admit it. I’m one of those who doesn’t use the 4 digit addition to the zip codes. I do if it’s right there for me to see. But if I have to go look it up…

    • Shhh- don’t tell my grand dad, but I don’t use the one for the office as I don’t know it. I do use the home one. SOMETIMES! Lol!

  2. That would be me as well. I never really think about it, LOL

    • If my grand dad hadn’t died at 92, he’d come snatch a knot in our tails! LOL!

  3. Love your fact. And, I have to admit I don’t use it either. Lately I’m having trouble remembering my phone number 🙂

    • Thanks Lavada. We are all post-code sinners!

  4. How fascinating! If I know the four digit edition, I add it. Your grand dad probably got to know a lot of his customers personally, unlike today. I couldn’t tell you what our mail carriers name is. Everything is so impersonal these days.


    • You’re absolutely right about the impersonal things today. It’s very sad how we’ve gotten to this point. And yeah, grand dad knew them all. Knew when they were sick, when they had babies, knew when there were deaths, the whole shebang. It was such a different world.

      And way to go on the four digit usage. You’re an honorary member of my grand dad’s family- he’d be proud of you!

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