Lamp boxes

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Queen Victoria Lamp Box, 1896

Accession number: OB1994.1

Lamp boxes like this one were first trialled in 1896 for residents in fashionable London Squares who required a nearby posting facility so their letters written late at night could catch the midnight or early morning collections. Their popularity meant that they were introduced to the rest of the country a year later.

This lamp box, from 1896, is the oldest and rarest lamp box in the BPMA collection. The word 'LETTERS' above the aperture signifies that it is an early Victorian model. Surviving examples of this type are very rare as soon after the wider introduction of lamp boxes, this was quickly changed to 'LETTERS ONLY'.


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