A mail slot is a special horizontal or vertical slot that is placed in a door or a wall for the purpose of mail delivery. They are used mostly in the city, where buildings are too close together for curbside mailboxes to service them all. Not only are they used in homes, but they are also used in churches, offices, private schools, and non-profit organizations. Some apartment units also use them so residents can have direct mail delivery to their door.
Horizontal and vertical slots are still used today just as they always have been. Their popularity appears to have no end in sight no matter what other changes we see in our civilization. Perhaps it is the sheer practicality of these devices that accounts for the fact that they are found almost everywhere.
While they originally were used mostly in the large cities of the East Coast, they are becoming more and more common in new constructions throughout the nation. Anywhere where space needs to be saved, no matter what the geography, delivery slots for mail are often used instead of curbside mailboxes.
There are three types of mail slots: Deluxe, Standard, and Vertical.
Standard mail slots are made of brass. They have a spring-loaded flap so they can be installed in the front of a solid door, or in the wall next to the door. They are also made with a special inside trim for the rear of the slot so it will be flush with the wall. Mail slides through it more easily this way without getting caught in the slot. These units come in letter size or magazine size.
It is generally recommended that architects install magazine size slots because carriers have a very difficult time fitting large mail pieces through a letter size slot. Sometimes they have to fold important items, which cause resentment on the part of the recipient. When deciding on how large a delivery slot should be, always give the carrier the benefit of convenience as possible.
Deluxe mail slots are handcrafted units made out of brass. They come in only one large, magazine size, and they are two piece handcrafted units. The word MAIL is cast on the flap to make them easily recognizable to couriers and mail carriers.
Heavy-duty tamper proof brass bolts secure the front and back frames to each other from the rear. This accommodates doors or walls in homes or office buildings that are as deep as one and seven eighths inches thick. The casting for the slot unit is one quarter inch thick. Deluxe slots are U.S.P.S. approved for mail delivery.
Vertical mail slots
can be installed on the side of a door, or in the frame of a door. The choice of vertical slots over horizontal slots is often a cosmetic decision. They are much less noticeable than horizontal slots. Vertical slots are also large enough to accommodate magazines and large envelopes. In most cases as well, their primary use is in homes, not businesses.
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