There are over 20,000 wall boxes in use in the UK and the BPMA letter box collection includes over 60 wall boxes. These represent their evolution from the first introduction of wall boxes in 1857 to the time when they stopped being made in 1980.
Wall boxes did not change dramatically throughout this time. The collection portrays the small changes that did occur and the different types that were introduced.
The collection also includes wall boxes used in Sub-Post Offices. This includes the more common types manufactured by James Ludlow with distinctive enamel plates. We also hold examples of rarer types of these made by the Eagle Range and Foundry Company. The collection also features wall boxes from Hong Kong and large freestanding wall boxes used in railway stations.
Wall boxes were first introduced in 1857 to deal with the ever-increasing volume of mail. They satisfied a need for smaller, cheaper letter boxes in rural areas in addition to the existing larger pillar boxes in towns.
Examples from our Collection
Here are some examples of wall boxes in our collection: