The ZIP in ZIP Code stands for Zone Improvement Plan, and it was introduced July 1, 1963, as part of a larger Postal Service Nationwide Improved Mail Service (NIMS) plan to improve the speed of mail delivery.
When were ZIP codes invented?
Non-mandatory ZIP codes were introduced to the United States in 1963. Robert Moon, a postal inspector with the United States Postal Service, proposed the ZIP code system as early as 1944. The United States Postal Service began using two-digit area codes in 1943 in order to define postal zones in larger cities.
What is a a ZIP code?
A ZIP Code is a system that is made up of postal codes which have been used by the US Postal Service from the year 1963. ZIP is an acronym which stands for Zone Improvement Plan. When senders use the postal address code, which consists of five digits, the mail is sent more effectively and quicker, hence the name.
When did ZIP codes start having 16 numbers?
The United States Post Office Department (USPOD) implemented postal zones for many large cities in 1943. The ’16’ is the number of the postal zone in the specific city. By the early 1960s, a more organized system was needed, and non-mandatory five-digit ZIP Codes were introduced nationwide on July 1, 1963.
When were non-mandatory ZIP codes introduced?
Non-mandatory ZIP codes were introduced to the United States in 1963. Robert Moon, a postal inspector with the United States Postal Service, proposed the ZIP code system as early as 1944.
When did the US start using zip codes?
The United States Postal Service began using two-digit area codes in 1943 in order to define postal zones in larger cities. Beginning in 1967, the ZIP code became progressively mandatory. The word “ZIP” comes from the acronym for “Zone Improvement Plan.” The original ZIP code was composed of 5 digits.
When did the US Postal Service begin using zip codes?
Zip codes went into effect on July 1, 1963. ZIP stood for Zone Improvement Plan. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN GENUINE AND ORIGINAL ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES AT BARGAIN BASEMENT PRICES CLICK HERE: items/complete-catalog/list.htm
What year did ZIP codes start in the US?
When did the use of ZIP codes become mandatory?
Zip Codes, or Zone Improvement Plan codes, were a development of Postal District/Zone numbers that had been in use in some large cities as early as the 1920s. They were introduced in 1963 at the same time as standardized 2-letter state abbreviations. Zip Codes became mandatory on second and third-class bulk mail in 1967.
What Is The ZIP Code?
A ZIP Code is a system that is made up of postal codes that have been in use by the United States Postal Service from the year 1963, according to Wikipedia.Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) is an abbreviation that stands for Zone Improvement Plan.Using the postal address code, which is made up of five digits, allows mail to be dispatched more efficiently and quickly, hence the name.
With five digits, the main ZIP Code format may be described as follows: In 1983, an expanded code known as ‘ZIP +4’ was established; it consisted of the five digits, a hyphen, and four more digits that were added in order to more accurately find the intended location.The word ″ZIP Code″ was first registered as a service mark by the United States Postal Service, but that registration has since lapsed.
History Of The ZIP Code
The origins of postal codes may be traced back to zone numbers and postal districts.The United States Postal Service Department began using postal codes for various major cities in 1943, and it is still in use today (USPOD).It was determined that a more strategic approach was necessary in the early 1960s, which resulted in the introduction of non-mandatory five-digit ZIP Codes on July 1, 1963, throughout the country.
Publication 59, published by the United States Department of the Post Office on October 1, 1963, contains abbreviations that are used in conjunction with ZIP Codes.It consists of a list of two letters from a state abbreviation that is printed in all capitals.However, it has previously been recommended that the capitalization of abbreviations should be limited to between two and five letters in length.An optimal 23 position line was chosen as the foundation for the two-letter standard on ‘Publication 59’ because it was unanimously acknowledged to be a more efficient line capacity basis for primary addressing systems than a single letter.
Afterwards, the two-letter abbreviation would be followed by a lengthy city name that is also interwoven with a multi-letter state name, such as ‘Sacramento, Calif.,’ which would be coupled with the ZIP Code for the surrounding region.These initials, on the other hand, have been unchanged since 1969, when the Canadian postal administration asked that Nebraska’s abbreviation be changed from NB to NE in order to prevent people from associating it with the province of New Brunswick in Canada.During his time as a postal inspector in 1944, Robert Moon, who is widely acknowledged as the originator of the ZIP Code, presented his concept to the Postal Service.He is given the first three digits, which describe the sec center, also known as the sectional center facility, which he is responsible for (SCF).The SCF is the one that sorts the mail by the first three digits of their ZIP Codes and distributes it to all post offices before sorting it by the last two digits and distributing it to the appropriate post office locations.In contrast, sectional centers are not open to the public and do not distribute mail, and the bulk of its personnel work the night shift, making them an inaccessible location.
Postal mail is collected in the afternoon and delivered to the designated SCF, where it is sorted throughout the evening and early morning.It was the earlier postal zone number that was represented by the final two digits in the larger cities.This became necessary for both third-class and second-class bulk mailers in 1967, resulting in the widespread adoption of the system in that year.
It was 1983 that the United States Postal Service (USPS) introduced the ZIP+4 code system, commonly known as ″plus four codes,″ ″add-ons,″ or ″add-on codes.″ There is a five-digit code and an additional four digits that designate a geographical segment inside the five-digit delivery region, such as a group of apartments or a city block, in the system.The introduction of an additional identifier is intended to assist with the delivery and sorting of mail.The regulation for Post Office Boxes stipulates that every box must have the ZIP code plus four additional codes, as well as an add-on code, which is normally the box number’s final four digits, zero plus the last three digits of the box number, according to the rule.
Finally, if the number of digits in the box is less than four, zeros are appended to the beginning of the box number, resulting in a four-digit number.
Typically, a ZIP Code is translated into an Intelligent Mail barcode that is printed on the mail piece, making it easier for automated mail sorting equipment to identify and categorize the mail.Although the sender has the option of printing a barcode, it is advised that you let the post office to do it when they are processing the package.The post office employs optical character recognition (OCR) technology, albeit a human employee may be required to read and enter the address in some cases.
When it comes to postage, clients who send large amounts of mail are frequently offered a discount if they presort the mail or print the barcode.Using updated versions of the Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS), an accredited software that not only verifies but also adds the correct ZIP plus four Code as well as an additional two digits that represent the specific delivery point, mail lists must be standardized to ensure accuracy and consistency in delivery.A certain sorting technique, an 11-digit zip code with at least 150 mailpieces, and accompanying evidence of verification are required for each piece of mail sent out in the United States.Such procedures are carried out by PAVE-certified software, which also prints the address labels for the barcode as well as the tray or sack tags, among other things.
Every single mailable site in the United States is identified by a 12-digit number as a result of this.
Delivery locations in the United States are identified by ZIP Codes, as are stations overseas, including regions for the country’s military services.All three countries (the Republic of Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, and the autonomous states of the Federated States of Micronesia) have incorporated ZIP Codes into the United States postal system, which is run by a Compact of Free Association.In a similar vein, mail delivered to any US diplomatic missions abroad is frequently treated as if it were meant for an address in Washington, D.C.
When you receive diplomatic mail, you will receive a four-digit diplomatic mail pouch number, which is not only used as a building number but also as the city in which the embassy is situated, and this number is coupled with the word location, resulting in the name of the street.Typically, ZIP Codes are designated with numbers beginning with the first digit, each of which represents a distinct set of United States states.In that group, the second and third digits each represent a different area, with the alphabetical order following the numerical order after that.Despite the fact that ZIP Codes were originally intended for systematic mail delivery, there are a few instances in which ZIP Codes may transcend state lines, with military installations being a prime illustration of this.
ZIP Codes: A History
Because of the adoption of ZIP codes in 1963, mail has been zipping along its route since that time. However, this hasn’t always been the case. Let’s take a look at how ZIP codes got their start and how they’ve evolved through time.
The prehistory of the ZIP code
During the early years of the United States Postal Service, mailing addresses were not strictly controlled.It’s possible that you included the recipient’s street address, as well as the city and state, but you wouldn’t have noticed a ZIP code on the envelope.Mail was manually sorted, and delivery depended on the knowledge of the recipient’s location at the time of delivery.
It was a significant improvement over the colonial era, when people relied on friends and merchants to convey communications, but it was still not ideal.Postal districts are established.After 1940, there was a major growth in the use of the postal system, and attempts were undertaken to streamline the sorting and delivery process.Postal districts for large cities were established in 1943 as a result of World War II.
Each district was allocated a one- or two-digit number, which recipients were required to provide between the city name and the state name when sending mail.This was beneficial, but the growing amount of mail quickly necessitated the implementation of automated systems.
The ZIP code is born
The United States Postal Service (USPS) boosted efficiency in 1961 when it implemented the Nationwide Improved Mail Service system.The National Institute of Manufacturing Standards (NIMS) defined the physical dimensions of envelopes and the form limits of packages, making automation practicable.When Postmaster General Edward Day received a suggestion for changes in postal district codes from Philadelphia Postal Inspector Robert Moon, he immediately implemented it by establishing the Zone Improvement Plan (also known as ZIP codes).
It was proposed that the two-digit city coding system be replaced with a five-digit system that contained three digits for the overall geographical region followed by the two-digit city district code, rather than the previous two-digit system.When mailing a letter, you would now include the ZIP code at the end of the address, after the state where the letter is being sent.
Mr. ZIP takes the campaign national
Day took a cue from the difficulties faced by telephone companies when they attempted to introduce area codes and started a public awareness campaign prior to the implementation of area codes.Using the cartoon figure Mr.ZIP as a symbol, the new ZIP codes were intended to provide faster service while also increasing accuracy.
Mr.ZIP’s efforts were successful, with acceptance of the concept reaching 90 percent and public use reaching 83 percent by 1969.
Today’s 9-digit ZIP code
The ZIP+4 system, introduced by the United States Postal Service in 1983, greatly increased the use of ZIP codes.Everyone’s ZIP code was given four numbers under this new nine-digit system, which identified the side of the street where a particular address was to be found or, in the case of some extremely high-rise structures, the portion of the building where the addressee was situated.Mail carriers will be able to deliver your mail more promptly as a result of the comprehensive sorting that has been enabled.
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The Untold Story of the ZIP Code
1st of April, 2013 (Report Number RARC-WP-13-006) The Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) Code was launched by the United States Postal Service in 1963 as a means of making mail sorting procedures faster and later automated.However, the breakthrough produced unimaginable socio-economic advantages as an organizing and enabling instrument.While the ZIP Code is utilized by a multitude of businesses, including the insurance and real estate industries, it also serves to encourage community and identity representation by providing a standardized code.
The initial establishment of the ZIP Code, as well as the Postal Service’s ongoing maintenance and updating of this asset, have resulted in these huge social advantages.This study investigates additional improvements that may be made to the ZIP Code to make it more robust in the digital era.It is specifically examined in this research how combining the precision of geocodes with the contextual, widespread use of ZIP Codes might be advantageous.It is possible that adding geocodes to ZIP Codes may make it easier to reconfigure delivery routes, link the vast amount of Postal Service address information to mapping tools, and better coordinate government spending to meet public requirements.
Another improvement being considered is the integration of demographic information with the ZIP Code.Combined with smaller mailing groupings, this might be used to boost the perceived value of mail for both the sender and the recipient.A historical analysis of the ZIP Code is also included to uncover any lessons that may be applied to the present day.During this investigation, it was discovered that the ZIP Code’s unforeseen external advantages happened as a result of the Post Office Department taking the initiative and experimenting with a set of actions to secure the adoption and success of the invention.After the Post Office Department launched the Mr.ZIP campaign, which raised public knowledge of the idea, it is possible that the ZIP Code may be accepted despite some opposition from stakeholders.
Finally, the Office of Inspector General, in collaboration with IBM, has begun developing a methodology for determining the societal value of the ZIP Code system.According to the estimates, the ZIP Code contributes around $10 billion to the economy each year.This calculation also demonstrates that the value of the ZIP Code to external businesses far outweighs the value of the ZIP Code to the United States Postal Service.
Read the Entire Report
The Surprising History and Meaning Behind Every Zip Code
Written letters may be losing popularity in favor of electronic communication such as email and cell phones, but there will still be a demand for mail delivery in the foreseeable future—and therefore a requirement for zip codes.Beyond the possibility of determining property taxes, what exactly do zip codes imply and why do we have them are still a mystery.Contrary to popular belief, zip codes are a far more recent occurrence than you might expect.
However, they are just 52 years old—a idea that was first suggested during World War II and first implemented on a formal basis in 1963.The zip (Zoning Improvement Plan) code was devised when the United States Postal Service lost a significant amount of its workforce while fighting in World War II.As a result, they need a straightforward method of assisting the overworked postal service in delivering mail efficiently.When the zip code was initially created, it was merely a two-digit number: the first digit designated the city, and the second digit denoted the state.
However, when the need for delivery increased, the notion of a zip code evolved.Since 1963, the numbers assigned to zip codes have been decided by a few factors: the geographic area, the regional postal facility, and the local zone.The first number in the five-digit code represents the area in which the address is situated, and it increases in value as one moves from the east coast to the west coast of the United States.The eastern states such as Maine and New York, for example, begin with the numbers 0 or 1, but the western states such as California and Washington begin with the number 9.Within each initial area, the second and third digits of the code designate a smaller zone, which corresponds to a single post office building serving the whole area as a whole.The final two digits of the address designate the location of the local post office.
You may have noticed that zip codes frequently contain a hyphenated four-digit number at the end of them that is seldom utilized.This is due to the fact that the number is rarely used.However, according to Business Insider, the development of sorting and locating technology has made it unnecessary to provide the additional four numbers in the address specification process.
The final data included additional information on the delivery area’s location.This material was generated and maintained by a third party and imported onto this website in order to assist users in providing their email addresses for further consideration.You may be able to discover further information on this and other related items at the website piano.io.
ZIP Code, or Zone Improvement Plan Code, is a system of zone coding that was created by the United States Postal Service (now known as the United States Postal Service) in 1963 to make sorting and delivery of mail more efficient.In the end, after an exhaustive public relations campaign, the department was successful in gaining universal acceptance of the ZIP code from the general population.When sending mail, it was requested that the sender include a five-digit code in all of their addresses.
The first three digits of this code specified the region of nation the item was bound for, and the final two numbers identified which specific post office or zone the item was sent to.Primary goal of the zone coding scheme was to maximize the potential of electronic reading and sorting devices.In 1983, the United States Postal Service adopted a nine-digit ZIP Code.The new code, which consists of the original five digits plus a hyphen and four more numbers, was created to expedite automated sorting procedures by reducing the number of steps required.
For example, the first two of the four additional numbers designate a specific sector, such as a collection of streets or a collection of major buildings.The next two digits of the enlarged code denote an even smaller region known as a segment, which can be as tiny as one side of a city block, a single floor of a huge structure, or a collection of post office boxes, among other things.
The ZIP Code Turns 50
A number of significant events occurred in 1963 in the United States, including the assassination of President John F.Kennedy, the delivery of Martin Luther King Jr.’s ″I Have a Dream″ speech at the March on Washington and the introduction of the ZIP code, which was largely overlooked by all but the most ardent postal historians.Since its inception in 1775, the post office has depended on manual sorting based on local addresses to ensure that mail gets to where it is meant to go.
A piece of mail would frequently pass through the hands of ten different postal workers before reaching its intended destination.Nonetheless, by the 1940s, the then-named Post Office Department had discovered that its sorting system was not keeping up with the expanding population of the country that it serviced, and so it reorganized.When the post office began placing one and two digit numbers between the city and the state in 1943 as a way to streamline mail sorting for the nation’s largest cities, it was intended to aid clerks in wading through the growing volume of mail, which was then estimated to be approximately 20 million pieces per year.(FURTHER READING: How to Fix the Post Office: Keep the ‘Last Mile,’ Outsource Everything Else) By the early 1960s, the post-war population explosion and sustained expansion in the western United States had resulted in even higher usage of the postal service than previously.
Between 1943 and 1962, the amount of mail more than quadrupled, increasing the strain on the post office to process mail effectively.After receiving recommendations from an internal advisory council, the United States Postal Service implemented the Zone Improvement Plan Code on July 1, 1963, which split the whole country into coded delivery districts.The first two or three digits on the postage stamp indicated to which states the letter was being delivered.For example, more populated regions such as New York were assigned five-digit numbers beginning with 10-14, but less populous regions such as Montana were assigned five-digit numbers beginning with 10-14.Because of the additional ZIP codes, the Postal Service was able to better locate where mail was being delivered while also expanding machine-based sorting systems that could swiftly scan numbers.Many Americans, though, were apprehensive about switching to the new system.
″People were frightened that they were being reduced to statistics,″ says Jennifer Lynch, a historian with the United States Postal Service.″They were under the impression that it was depersonalizing them.″ In order to get people on board, the post office launched a massive marketing effort focused on Mr.ZIP, a cartoon postal courier who appears to be nice and approachable.
In a long public service announcement film, a folk group known as The Swingin’ Six sung about the importance of using ZIP Codes.Advertisements for ″Put ZIP in your mail″ appeared in a variety of publications across the country, including TIME, while a series of short television commercials depicted postal employees drowning in a flood of letters and utilized phrases such as ″Only you can put ZIP in your postal system.″ Evidently, the advertisements were effective.In 1966, three years following the introduction of ZIP Codes, fifty percent of all Americans stated that they utilized ZIP Codes.According to a 1969 research done by Roper Research Associates, 83 percent of those surveyed claimed they did by 1969.
In 1983, the United States Postal Service increased the ZIP Code from six to nine digits in order to determine which side of the street the mail was being carried to, as well as which office buildings were being delivered to.Today, ZIP codes are translated into ″automation-readable barcodes,″ which are placed on pieces of mail when they are sorted and contain 31 digits of information that tell the post office everything from whether the mail was presorted to whether it is first-class mail or a periodical, and even which business sent the mail to which ZIP code was translated.It also enables the United States Postal Service to trace practically every letter and package sent throughout the country.(READ MORE: The United States Postal Service Will Launch a Clothing Line) It is estimated by the Postal Service that enhanced efficiency for both major mailers and the postal service itself provide almost $10 billion in value to the United States’ economy each year.
- As the postal service approaches its 50th anniversary, the Inspector General’s Office has recommended that ZIP codes be connected to digital geographic information systems based on latitude and longitude in order to improve delivery accuracy even further.
- ZIP, on the other hand, will remain in retirement this time.
- MORE: Why Working as a Letter Carrier in Los Angeles Is a Bad Idea.
Postal Zones Came Before Zip Codes
Although the Quick and DirtyZIP codes were first used in 1963, they were derived from more primitive codes known as postal zones, which were originally used in 1943.Yesterday, we discussed ZIP codes and I added some background information by stating that they were first established in the United States in 1963, which is correct; however, two individuals wrote in to inform me that previous codes, known as postal zones were originally presented in 1943.For example, Barbara Hughes of Vancouver, Washington, shared a memory from her childhood: ″Before there were ZIP codes, the postal code for East Cleveland was ’12’; thus, we put our address as East Cleveland, 12, Ohio.″ Cleveland Heights was the nearby town, and its postal address was Cleveland Heights, Ohio (21st Street).
Assume that…’evolved’ into the concept of ZIP codes.Addresses were written in the following format: CITY, POSTAL CODE, STATE.When ZIP codes were first issued…the numbers denoted a wide region that was gradually narrowed down to a more concentrated, local area.
‘441’ was assigned to the region of northeastern Ohio.The ZIP codes for East Cleveland and Cleveland Heights were changed as a result, and they are now 44112 and 44121 respectively.The ZIP codes were created as a result of the existing postal system that was already in existence.Not only that, but addresses were now required to be typed in the format CITY, STATE, ZIP CODE, rather than the previous one.Of order to avoid being sandwiched between the city and state in an address, the ZIP code was designed to appear as the very last item.″ Sue Hatfield-Green weighed in with a tale about Dellwood, Missouri that was identical to the one above.According to her, Dellwood’s postal zone was 36, and the address would have been written as Dellwood 36, Missouri.
However, following the introduction of ZIP codes, the address became 63136, with a code that was relocated from the middle to the end.It was World War II, according to the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, that led to the establishment of postal zones in the first place in 1943.Along with increased mail volume, the post office was bringing on a large number of new and inexperienced employees to replace those who had left to serve in the war.
The numerical city codes made it simpler for all of these new employees to keep up with and sort the mail efficiently.Although postal zones were not universally implemented, they were widely used and accepted without much opposition in the early twentieth century (I suppose because everyone wanted to support the war effort in whatever way they could).Postal zones weren’t as widely used as ZIP codes are now, therefore they were less common.According to the Smithsonian Institution, postal zones were only employed in 124 of the nation’s biggest metropolitan centers.
And, given that ZIP codes were derived from postal zones, I believe this explains why the acronym ZIP stands for ″Zone Improvement Plan″ (ZIP).Instead of specifying a small region, such as a town, the new five-digit ZIP code allows sorters to begin with the first number, which represents a group of states, move on to the second and third numbers, which represent a smaller area within that region, and THEN move on to the small regional area such as a town.With the introduction of a ZIP code, postal zones and zone improvement plans might be improved significantly.Thank you to Sue and Barbara for providing me the extra information that was both intriguing and useful!
- The photo is courtesy of Shutterstock.
Research Guides: This Month in Business History: ZIP Code Introduced
For those who are curious about what the ZIP Code has to do with business, the following quotation from a 1988 article in the Chicago Tribune provides an excellent explanation: ″What began out as a geographical unit has evolved into a fundamental unit of demography,″ said Lin Andrews, general manager of Wunderman Worldwide’s San Francisco office, which bills itself as the world’s largest direct-mail marketing agency.According to Andrews, the ancient adage ″you are what you eat″ has been replaced with the phrase ″you are where you live.″ Marketing specialists such as Andrews can identify customer interests and lifestyles in ways that make Madison Avenue salivate by employing a system that assigns every household in America into one of around 38,000 ZIP codes and combines that information with census data.This type of thorough information is particularly beneficial to the booming direct marketing businesses in the United States.
According to industry estimates, direct marketers earned an estimated $135 billion in 1986, and in doing so, they were able to reach practically every household in the United States through the mailbox.Every year, they send out billions of pieces of ″junk mail,″ which are catalogues and advertisements sent by direct mail.1
History & Development
The ZIP code stands for Zone Improvement Plan, and it was first used on July 1, 1963, as part of a larger Postal Service Nationwide Improved Mail Service (NIMS) initiative to speed up mail delivery.The ZIP code was created as part of a larger Postal Service Nationwide Improved Mail Service (NIMS) initiative to improve the speed of mail delivery.Letters were routed through around 17 sorting stations under the previous system; the new method, which would make use of modern, more mechanical processes, would be far less time-consuming.
Each of the digits that made up the ZIP code represented a different symbol or meaning.In its 1963 annual report, the United States Postal Service said the following: It is defined as follows: ″A five-digit ZIP number is a structured code in which the first digit identifies one of ten broad geographic areas of the United States and the second digit denotes a State, an area of geography within a highly populous State, or two or more less populous states.″ The third digit designates a main destination place within a State, which may be a large metropolitan post office or a major mail concentration point (Sectional Center) in a less populous area, depending on the situation..Five hundred fifty-three of these Sectional Centers have been recognized throughout the United States of America.″The final two digits indicate either a postal delivery unit within a bigger city post office or an independent post office served by a Sectional Center.
″″ 2 Those of you who recall a period before ZIP codes may be aware that the concept of employing codes was not wholly novel at the time.The United States Postal Service established zones for 124 urban locations in 1943.However, as the country’s population and volume of mail expanded over time, the previous system became increasingly inefficient and inefficient.According to the 1963 annual report, the previous system had expanded to include 109 zoned cities as well as around 600 smaller communities with designated local zones.It is possible that remnants of the previous system will exist in some locations.Using the above example, ″Mail formerly addressed to Washington 18, District of Columbia, and then correctly addressed, carried the ZIP Code 20018.″ 3 When completely deployed, the new system was intended to reduce the number of times an item was handled, hence shortening processing and delivery times for customers.
To get this new system up and running, the first groups targeted were government organizations and major bulk mailers such as magazine distributors and publishers.Individual correspondence was accepted more slowly than group correspondence.Many individuals didn’t even use the new ZIP code at first, and the majority of their mail was still delivered in the same amount of time as it had been.
As the number of people who used the code increased, mail utilizing the code was given priority, and that mail was delivered considerably more quickly.In spite of the fact that not everyone was thrilled about the system, the Postal Service thought that by the system’s second anniversary, people would be more accustomed to using it.It would be impossible to get the entire advantage of the system unless and until everyone began to use it consistently.Despite the fact that many individuals were not enthused, it appears that other people were.
While individual use of the new ZIP code was very modest, some small towns had as much as 50% of their inhabitants utilize it in the first year.4 In October 1964, the Christian Science Monitor published a story on how a little southern community was finally able to add house numbers after receiving their ZIP code.On June 1, 1965, the United States Postal Service created a unified national postal code directory, which replaced the 52 different State and territory directories.This made it easier for consumers to discover the codes for the mail they were sending.
- Even while the most visible aspect of NIMS was the introduction of the ZIP code, it also involved research and development (and eventually the use of optical scanners) in order to improve efficiency.
- Before it was feasible to employ scanners, it was necessary to introduce and establish a strong presence of ZIP codes.
- In 1963, the United States Postal Service stated that ″widespread adoption of the ZIP Code is intended to pave the way for a seamless transition to mail sorting by automated optical scanning equipment, which is currently under development.″ 5 According to the 1965 annual report, a deal had been signed for six optical readers, each of which was capable of reading and sorting ZIP-coded addresses at a pace of around 36,000 per hour.
- The Postal Laboratory appears to have been the site of three independent companies each working on their own reader, all of which were to be tested there.
- Each had to be able to ″find, recognize, and read numerics in all common machine-imprinted typefaces on envelopes as well as send sorting instructions to a letter sorting machine,″ according to the requirements.
Advertising this new number
As with any new product or service, the Post Office needed to market.One of the numerous initiatives centred around Christmas and informing youngsters that Santa’s ZIP code had changed to 99701 from 99701.Another notable event was the debut of Mr.
ZIP, the orange-skinned mail carrier symbol: ″Mr.ZIP entered the ranks of well-known public personalities throughout the course of the year.″ With the help of the American Telephone & Telegraph Company and its advertising firm, Cunningham & Walsh, and in collaboration with the Department’s information office, the jovial cartoon figure bloomed into a new emblem of Postal Service and mailer cooperation.During the year, a significant amount of work was devoted to the development and distribution of a package of materials in preparation for the July 1 debut of ZIP Code.
Aiming to emphasize community participation and participation in decision-making, the ZIP Code program incorporated every mode of communication and, for the first time, channeled all of the Department’s resources – which were previously made available to other government agencies and charitable organizations – into a single Post Office program.With appearances on radio and television by Miss Ethel Merman, as well as letters from children to Santa Claus at his North Poll ZIP Code address, Mr.ZIP captured the interest and enthusiasm of a significant portion of the postal public.″ 7 The following jingle, performed by Ethel Merman to the tune of ″Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,″ may perhaps be remembered or heard: ″Welcome to ZIP code, learn it now.″ Send your message the old-fashioned way, using five digits.Your return address should include the ZIP code as a time-saving measure to lessen the workload.″ However, even though the code was created in 1963, there was still a need to promote several years after it was first implemented.As reported in their 1967 annual report, more than 1,000 newspapers and major magazines published public service advertising developed by the Wunderman, Ricotta & Kline agency under the auspices of the Advertising Council and distributed by the Advertising Council.Advertisements were also broadcast on radio and television, as well as on buses and other public transportation systems.
There were also promotional advertisements produced by several high-circulation publications such as Vogue, Time and Reader’s Digest.In 1966, there was a nationwide ZIP Code Week in October, as well as a film, ″ZIP Code,″ which starred Mr.Zip and the Swinging Six singing group and was nominated for a silver medal at the International Film & Television Festival in the same year.
By the end of the 1960s, the ZIP code had been widely used.However, no adjustments were made to the ZIP code because the ZIP+4 code was adopted in 1983.Who knows what the ZIP code will become in the future.
Business catches on
Even while current marketers recognize the importance of employing the ZIP code for demographic research, business leaders recognized early on that the ZIP code may give an alternate means for them to define market segments to target.Even the unanticipated commercial applications of the ZIP code were mentioned in the 1967 Annual Report: ″Mr.ZIP has been offered a broad range of nonpostal positions throughout the course of the past year.
Industry has exhibited a particular interest in the geographic areas ZIP Codes represent, because they typically define markets more accurately than governmental bodies.Farmers’ ZIP Codes are used extensively by the California Council of Growers when providing planting advice to them.The codes are used by an Ohio gas company to determine the concentrations of investor groups.Meter readers’ routes in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, are organized by ZIP Code regions, much as sales routes in many parts of the country are divided by geographic region.
Several insurance firms assign accident report and claims investigators based on the codes that they get from the government.The Kentucky Health Department demands the ZIP’s of patients to trace the source, concentration, and transmission of infectious illnesses.Some military reserve forces assign new recruits to training locations that are close to their residences based on their ZIP code.″As a result of the increasing interest in the coding system by marketing, transportation, and research companies, a cooperative study with the Bureau of the Census is ongoing to develop techniques for making census data available via ZIP Codes.″ 8 Today, numerous databases, such as ReferenceUSA, Hoover’s Relationship Manager, SimplyMap, and others, employ the ZIP code as a mechanism to filter results based on location, and the ZIP code is one of the most used.Government entities also create and publish statistics based on ZIP code, which they may be found here.In particular, the Census Bureau was anticipated by the United States Postal Service in its yearly report from 1967 to the present day.
Individual tax returns are used to generate data by ZIP code, which are also produced by the IRS.While smaller divisions such as Census tracts and block groups might be difficult to identify for new users, ZIP codes are well-known integers that are simple to comprehend.Alternatively, while looking at their market inside a city, it is possible that someone may want to utilize ZIP codes rather than other political or geographic designations because they may not be as important as ZIP codes.
If you have any more queries, please do not hesitate to contact a librarian.
Where Was the First Zip Code Issued?
However, ZIP Codes were not always a part of our regular everyday lives in the United States, and they were not always used to identify locations.As a matter of fact, you may be surprised to learn (in a matter of seconds) how relatively new ZIP Codes are in the broad scheme of things – and why they were formed in the first place.These days, with ZIP Codes serving as such a critical component of our contemporary postal system, it’s difficult to picture what it would be like to send a package, parcel, or piece of mail without include a ZIP Code.
The fact is that we are all so accustomed to include these types of identifiers anywhere on our address labels that taking them out – or perhaps not including them at all – feels entirely and utterly alien.You’ll know a lot more about the history of the ZIP Code (and what an interesting history it has), how ZIP Codes are assigned, if there are any special ZIP Codes, and a bunch of other little factoids about this crucial part of the mailing system that might come in handy during a trivia night contest.So read on for more inside information about the ZIP Code.Are you ready to dive right in?
Let’s get this party started!
What is a Zip Code?
- Despite the fact that the United States Postal Service (in one form or another) has been carrying mail to addresses all throughout the country since before America was even a country, our ZIP Code system wasn’t officially established until the 1960s, when it was first implemented.
- But we’ll get into it a little more in-depth in a second or two.
- First and first, it’s critical to understand what a ZIP Code is and why it’s such a vital aspect of today’s postal delivery system.
- After a postal worker saw how difficult it was to identify different goods, parcels, and envelopes throughout our vast country with any real efficiency in the early 1940s, he came up with the idea of creating a ZIP Code, also known as a Zoning Improvement Plan Code.
- In 1944, a postal worker by the name of Robert Moon, a Philadelphia-based Postal Inspector, came up with the concept of a national three-digit code that could be used to assign different locations throughout the country – initially attached to major cities and the rural areas surrounding them – to a three-digit code.
- This was precisely around the time of the conclusion of World War II, when the United States Postal Service was dealing with a massive influx of mail.
Meanwhile, troops were returning home and constructing homes left and right – with new addresses sprouting up all over the country – and expansionism was firmly entrenched in the United States of America.As a result of all of this mail clogging up the old system of delivering pieces of mail where they needed to go with any real speed, the United States Postal Service (USPS) chose to employ a method that was similar to the one described by Mr.Moon in 1944.Although the United States Postal Service originally intended to use a three-digit system, they ultimately settled on a two-digit local zone number, which they subsequently combined with the three-digit system to create the five-digit system that we know (and love) today.Initial postal codes were two digits in length (for example, the number 16 for Minneapolis), and postal workers were in charge of the rest of the heavy lifting, such as determining exactly where a certain piece of mail was intended to go.
Where Was the First Zip Code Issued?
- Contrary to popular belief, Adjuntas in Puerto Rico received the honor of having the world’s first ZIP Code – or, more specifically, the world’s first five-digit ZIP Code – ever used by the United States Postal Service.
- Due to the fact that the ZIP Code system was completely adopted and implemented in 1963, and since the zone maps prepared by the United States depicted Puerto Rico as the ″first″ section of the United States, with the map traveling from right to left throughout the nation, this was the case.
- The first ZIP Code in the United States was 00601, and it designated a significant portion of Puerto Rico as the first Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) in the country.
- As previously said, the ZIP Codes continued to increase in number as they moved from the East Coast to the West Coast, with ZIP Codes such as 01001 being assigned to Agawam, Massachusetts, and 90210 being assigned to Beverly Hills, California, to name a few examples.
- Interestingly enough, the lowest ZIP Code number now in use by the United States Postal Service is 00501, which is assigned to the Internal Revenue Service in Holtsville, New York.
- The ZIP Code with the highest number in the United States Postal Service system is 9950, and that ZIP Code was assigned to Ketchikan, Alaska – which is the westernmost place according to the Zone Improvement Plan mapping scheme, at any rate – in the United States.
How Are Zip Codes Assigned?
- Undoubtedly, one of the most crucial things to understand is that ZIP Codes are not issued or allocated by any precise border that can be found on a typical United States map.
- There is a common misconception among those who believe that ZIP Codes are issued by state, or that differing state and town borders aid in the division and designation of various ZIP Code numbers that are associated with distinct locales.
- That is not at all how the situation is now unfolding.
- Instead, ZIP Codes have been divided down and allocated in accordance with the Zone Improvement Plan, which was formed by the United States Postal Service in order to better distinguish distinct delivery routes inside their own internal systems, rather than the previous approach.
- This is something that many people are astonished to hear, since they did not realize that the entire ZIP Code system was designed to increase overall mailing efficiency and delivery time.
- But when you start comparing different ZIP Codes on a map, it becomes a lot easier to understand – for example, comparing the ZIP Codes for Christian County, Kentucky and Montgomery County, Tennessee (which are both 42223) or the ZIP Codes for Lake County, Oregon and Modoc County, California (both 97635) – it becomes a lot clearer.
Only regional centers of the United States postal system, how different postal routes are assembled, and how the United States Postal Service (USPS) has opted to better break up and construct distinct delivery routes across the board are included in the drawing of the boundaries.This is how you wind up with the United States Navy having ZIP Codes that begin with 095, for example, all throughout the country (and in foreign countries) and all having the same ZIP Code.Once you realize that state boundaries are not a decisive factor in how these ZIP Codes were assigned (in fact, they are just incidental to the process), the entire ZIP Code map becomes much easier to comprehend moving forward.
What’s the Zip Code +4 System?
- While the original ZIP Code platform did wonders for making mail delivery a whole lot easier and a whole lot more efficient in the 1960s, the United States Postal Service (USPS) decided in 1983 (20 years after adopting the five digit ZIP Code) to enhance the system even more.
- The United States Postal Service (USPS) decided in 1983 to add a fourth digit to the end of its ZIP Code designations, giving these ZIP Codes a complete nine character code and allowing for even faster delivery times.
- With these additional four digits, it is now possible to define separate delivery segments along various streets, different city blocks, and even in various apartment groups – which is very useful if one or more neighborhoods receives a large volume of mail that must be delivered.
- Another thing to note is that none of this has anything to do with geographical boundaries or anything else of the kind.
- The odds are fairly likely that if you have two apartment buildings directly close to one another in downtown Boston, and both of them get massive amounts of mail on a daily basis, each of them will have its own +4 ZIP Code designation.
- Although they are physically adjacent to one another and may have consecutive street addresses, the chances of them having consecutive +4 ZIP Code designations (even though they are physically adjacent to one another and may have consecutive street addresses) are slim to none if the apartment building on the left was built in the 1990s and the apartment building on the right was built in the 2000s.
Are There Any Special Zip Codes Out There?
- In addition to the renowned 90210 code for Beverly Hills, which was named after the same television show that we discussed previously, there are a number of other unusual ZIP Codes to consider.
- Additionally, we said before that the IRS has exclusive use of the lowest ZIP Code designation in the country, but you might be interesting to hear that just two persons in the country have their own ZIP Code as well.
- Neither the President of the United States nor the First Lady of the United States of America have their own unique ZIP Code designations that they – and only them – may use to their advantage.
- In addition to the President’s ZIP Code (20500–0001), the First Lady’s ZIP Code (20500–0002) is also available.
- Those ZIP Codes are ″branches″ of the ZIP Code for the White House (20500), and there are a number of additional +4 ZIP Code designations for other branches, offices, and pieces of the White House that have been added on top of that.
- Smoky Bear, the mascot of the United States Forest Service, is the only other ″person″ who has been assigned their own ZIP Code.
In response to his growing popularity and a large advertising campaign launched in order to fight back against forest fires, Smoky began receiving a massive volume of mail in the form of fan letters.Smoky’s daily mail volume increased to such an extent that he was assigned the ZIP Code 20252, which he has retained to this day (despite the fact that it was briefly deactivated/decommissioned in the early 1990s).An additional highly intriguing ZIP Code to look into is that of Conyngham, Pennsylvania, which is located in the state of Pennsylvania.There are 2000 people who reside in this town, which uses the ZIP Code 18219, yet they are bordered on all sides by the Pennsylvania town of Sugarloaf, which uses the ZIP Code 18249, which has the ZIP Code 18249.In fact, it is the only spot in the United States where one ZIP Code is completely encapsulated within another ZIP Code!
Other Interesting Facts You (Probably) Never Knew About Zip Codes
- According to the USPS Zone Improvement Plan, as we discussed previously, the ZIP Code is made up of numbers that correlate to a range of various designations inside the ZIP Code.
- First and foremost, the code represents the National Area regional code, with the second digits indicating the Sectional Center or the largest regional post office as a subset of the first digit.
- After the first five digits, the remaining two digits of the ZIP Code are directly associated with either associated post offices or the actual delivery region.
- The first two digits of these additions to the ZIP Code are especially for streets that serve large buildings, which is why they are included in the +4 ZIP Code expansion.
- The second and third codes refer to the side of the street on which the building is located and the exact floor on which the address is located, respectively.
Choose a Modern Approach to Receiving Mail – US Global Mail
- Although utilizing ZIP Codes is an important aspect of how we send packages, parcels, and other pieces of mail through the United States Postal Service, wouldn’t it be nice to have a more current method for getting your mail as well?
- It is at this point that US Global Mail comes into action.
- Customers of US Global Mail benefit from physical street addresses, mail scanning and mail forwarding solutions, as well as package receiving services (and much more) from the moment they sign up for an account with one of the most innovative, well-respected, and trusted independent mail services in the United States.
- Those interested in learning a little bit more about all that US Global Postal has to offer, as well as how this contemporary mail service can make their lives a little bit simpler and a lot more comfortable, can visit their website.
- There’s a good reason why thousands of individuals have made the decision to stop utilizing the United States Postal Service or third-party mail acceptance services and instead to take advantage of everything US Global Mail has to offer.
When did postal zones and zip codes start
|POSTAL ZONES – You may have noticed that many addresses during the period between 1943 and 1963 had a one or two digit number following the city name. These numbers were postal zones. It may surprise you to learn that postal zones were instituted in 1943 during WWII. They were necessary because many postal clerks had gone into the service and the new inexperienced postal clerks were having trouble sorting the mail. The zone system was put in place to make things easier. ZIP CODES – By 1963, most of first-class mail in the United States was generated by a small number of large-volume mailers, so The Post Office Department devised a plan to speed handling and delivery of letter mail. By this time most businesses had automated mailing systems that could easily handle the 5 digits that would allow mailings to bypass as many as six mail-handling steps. Zip codes went into effect on July 1, 1963. ZIP stood for Zone Improvement Plan. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN GENUINE AND ORIGINAL ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES AT WHOLESALE BARGAIN BASEMENT PRICES CLICK THE LINK BELOW|
What is a ZIP Code?
- In the United States, a ZIP code is a numbering system that assigns unique code numbers to each city in the country.
- In an announcement made on April 30, 1963, Postmaster General John A.
- Gronouski stated that the ZIP Code system will be implemented on July 1, 1963.
- With the introduction of the Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) Code by the United States Postal Service, a coding system was established that allocated codes to all addresses around the country on maps.
- In 1943, the United States Postal Service separated cities into zones to aid in the speeding up of sorting and delivery of mail.
- By July 1963, every address in the United States had been issued a five-digit zip code, which could be found on the map below.
What do the ZIP Code Digits Stand For?
- When it comes to the initial ZIP Codes, there are five digits.
- Number one represents one of 10 significant geographic regions in the country, with zero being the most northern region and nine representing the most western.
- Metropolises and sectional centers that are accessible by public transit are denoted by the second and third numbers, respectively.
- In bigger cities, the fourth and fifth ZIP Code digits denote local post offices or postal zones, as indicated by the fourth and fifth numbers of the ZIP Code.
How are ZIP Codes used by the Post Office?
- Because of the new Zoning Improvement Plan coding scheme, it became necessary to create huge transportation hubs around the country in order to ease the load placed on big urban post offices by processing all of the mail at once.
- United States Postal Service launched a high-speed optical reader in 1965, and it has been in use ever since.
- This system could sort mail by automatically reading the ZIP Code on the envelope.
- They scanned the address and printed a bar code on the envelope that corresponded to the address they were looking for.
- When the letters arrived at their final destination post offices, a bar code sorter scanned the bar code and sorted them by ZIP Code and address into suitable holding sections until they were delivered.
- Sectional centers are the locations where the majority of mail is processed.
If a letter is mailed at your local post office but is not intended for distribution inside the same ZIP Code as the one in which it was mailed, it may be delivered to a sectional center.Preparing mail for delivery to local post offices, where it will be distributed by postal carriers to its eventual destination, automated systems sort and postmark it before it is sent.We recommend reading our article on ZIP Codes and Automation for more information on the automation of the United States Postal Service (USPS).
Zip Codes Plus: The ZIP + 4 Code
- In 1983, the United States Postal Service extended the ZIP Code system to include four additional digits, bringing the total number of digits to nine.
- The ZIP + 4 Code is the abbreviation for this.
- The extra digits allow for even more exact identification of the mail’s final destination.
- As explained by the United States Postal Service, the new sixth and seventh digits denote a ″delivery sector, such as several blocks, a group of streets, a group of post office boxes, numerous business buildings, or a small geographic region.″ In this case, the last two digits signify a delivery segment, which might be one floor of an office building, one side of a street between intersecting streets, certain departments within a company, or a collection of post office boxes.″ Postal processing was sped up thanks to the introduction of the ZIP + 4 Code, which reduced the number of times a letter had to be handled and the amount of time mail carriers had to spend sorting their mail into the correct delivery order.
- In this case, a multiline Optical Character Reader scans the address, after which it sprays a barcode that represents the ZIP + 4 plus two more digits that indicate the actual delivery street address.
- It can sort the mail in the right sequence for each carrier’s delivery route based on the barcode database it has access to.
The Importance of the Correct ZIP Code
Where Did Zip Codes Come From?
- The enormously successful Fox Television program Beverly Hills 90210, which aired in the 1990s, featured the escapades of a group of teenagers who lived in the wealthiest zip code in Southern California at the time.
- It’s telling that the numbers in the show’s title didn’t need to be explained at any point.
- We have come to accept the notion that different zip codes have different sorts of people living in them.
- What caused this to occur?
- Initially introduced on July 1, 1963, the zip code was promoted as a means of expediting the circulation of mail across a wide continent.
- However, it was later found to be ineffective.
Gregory Smith, a geographer, claims that the zip code, which is an abbreviation for Zoning Improvement Program, had its origins during World War II.After their usual postal deliverymen were sent away to fight in the war, their substitutes were given a system of codes to identify addresses, because they were unlikely to have the institutional memory for places that regular mail deliverymen had acquired.Following World War II, a flourishing American economy resulted in a postal service that was overburdened.Smith discovered that, although 30 billion pieces of mail were carried each year during the Great Depression, it had increased to more than 80 billion by the 1960s.Luce Publishing, the publisher of Time and Life magazines, sent out 750 million pieces of mail every year, all of which was addressed to the country’s 33,000 post offices at the time of the publication.In order to cope with the volume, postal officials in the United States attempted to replicate a West German coding system.
Mail delivery was transformed away from obsolete railroad schedules and into the modern world of truck and airline transportation, with many sorting stations being relocated from city depots to facilities near highways and airports as a result of the introduction of zip codes.Not everyone was pleased with the outcome.Some people viewed the zip code as depersonalizing and technocratic, because it relied on a numbers system rather than the names of known counties and states, which they perceived as depersonalizing.A commenter in the New Yorker writes: ″We have been assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the government’s apparent aim to cleanly do away with the bother of neighborhoods, towns, cities and even states.″ Smith cites this commentator.Nonetheless, by 1967, zip codes were used to identify 65 percent of all mail delivered.
Soon after, new applications for zip codes began to develop, some of which were less than appetizing.Insurance firms and banks utilized those five digits to categorize people and decide who was creditworthy, just as they used them to categorize people.The discovery that zip codes segregated communities and, as a result, were a godsend for marketers, who were able to tailor their products to certain types of custome