Lamp boxes


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'.

You may also be interested in...

Letter Boxes

Letter Boxes

Letter boxes in Britain have become an iconic symbol of the nation

They are recognised the world over and are frequently featured in tourist brochures - find out more.


Make a Donation

Make a Donation

Make an online donation to The British Postal Museum & Archive

Donate to the BPMA via PayPal or with your debit or credit card using the secure Charities Aid Foundation system.


Philatelic Glossary

Philatelic Glossary

Stamps and philately explained, from 'A Payer' to 'Zip Code'

Listing more than 1,500 philatelic terms, this is the ultimate resource for philatelists at all levels.


Mind Unit - websites, content management and email marketing for the arts