Looking for Zip Codes

Recently while waiting in line at the post office – there was a couple behind me and they were frantically looking for the zip code to add to their mailing label for their package being mailed. 

In sharing with them they could use their smartphone to look up the zip code they were happy for the tip and we ended up having me show them how to do that from my smartphone.  It was surprising to learn they did not know how to do a search on their smartphones as they had ‘never gotten around’ to doing anything on it except make phone calls.  My suggestion to them was while at home in a relaxed timeframe to do a few trial searches on their web browser and it should help them to be comfortable getting to google for basic search lookups while out and about in the future.

Here is the link to lookup a zip code at the US Postal Service web site (on Twitter @USPS) if you are wanting to bookmark it.

There are also Zip Code Tools apps for the android at Google Play and for the iPhone at iTunes.  It lets you not only find zip codes, it also has a area code lookup, and locate a post office among its features.

Photo upper left Attribution: By United States Post Office Department [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Here is a brief background on Zip Codes

Photo 1961, Attribution: by United States Post Office Department [Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons. The mailbox includes an injunction to use Zone numbers (the precursor to Zip codes in large cities).
Today we take it for granted to always include the Zip Code.  This was not always the case.

In July 1, 1963, there was the nationwide introduction of non-mandatory five-digit ZIP codes.   (Prior to this beginning with 1943 the Post Office Department implemented postal zones for large cities, the postal zone number got inserted between the City and the State. )

In 1983, an expanded ZIP code system that it called ZIP+4 was introduced by the U.S. Postal Service. I saw it listed also as “plus-four codes”, “add-on codes”, or “add ons”.

Mr. Zip

In 2013, the Post Office re-introduced Mr. ZIP to stamps – celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ZIP Code system.  Be sure to check out the Postal Museum Zip Code Campaign (On twitter @PostalMuseum) including its “other Mr. Zip appearances page.

The next time you are writing out your letter and post cards and include the zip – you can smile knowing Mr. Zip would be proud of you!

Anchors Aweigh,  




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