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Randy Treadway

The World's Fair Post Office

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Mr. Zip was a cartoon character created to extoll the wonders and benefits of the new Zip Code system. I believe he was used on signage explaining the system and over things like mail sorting equipment. I don't recall any live appearance of anyone in a costume or anything like that at the Fair.

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There are lapel pins showing a cartoonish Mr. Zip that sellers on eBay always claim were handed out at the '64 World's Fair (one would think at the end of the Post Office tour).

But I've never heard anybody here at PTU confirm that.

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As an avid stamp collector, I'm sure that if they were giving out pins I would have gotten one, and I don't recall them at all at the Fair. Not to say I couldn't have missed them, but I would have jumped at the chance to get one if I saw anyone with one. I don't recall seeing any in pictures of the Fair as well.

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Yes, there was a sales counter which provided all the services of a regular post office including stamp sales. Being a foremost promotional opportunity, I would think this post office had available for sale all the current United States stamps at that time which had not been withdrawn. Typically stamps which had been issued in the prior 2 or 3 years, plus a few older regular issues which were still in production. Just like those post offices today which have a 'philatelic sales counter'. Most certainly they had the World's Fair stamps, and many others as well, such as the John F. Kennedy commemorative.

But being a United States Post Office, I don't think they would have sold any foreign stamps, even if those foreign stamps were commemorating the World's Fair.

You could buy Vatican City stamps at the Vatican Pavilion gift shop, and perhaps a few other foreign pavilions sold stamps from their home countries too.

Furthermore, I think many of the souvenir stands throughout the Fairgrounds may have sold "post card rate" U.S. postage stamps to go on all those Dexter postcards they were selling, so that the cards could be deposited in the many mailboxes on all the major Fairgrounds streets. That way visitors didn't have to go traipsing off to the remote corner where the P.O. was located, just to buy stamps to put on postcards. But it WAS there if they wanted to visit, and of course this post office provided mail pickup and delivery services for the entire Fairgrounds- all the pavilions, the Fair Corporate offices, etc.

I wonder if this post office rented P.O. Boxes to anybody who wanted to rent one?

P.S.- if you DID decide to walk over to the Post Office to buy your stamps, you were rewarded with something that wasn't available anywhere else- a customized glassine envelope to house your purchases....and the counter here was the place you could walk up and get a dated 'favor cancel', like the one on this World's Fair postal stationary issue.

sales_sack_and_stamped_envelope.jpg

Also of note- this was the only Post Office in the country that was allowed to provide 'first day' cancellations for the NYWF issues on the day they debuted in the spring of 1964. Other post offices were prevented by postal regulations from selling the World's Fair stamps until the day AFTER they went on sale at this Fairgrounds post office.

The postal employees who worked at this facility had a unique patch sewn on their uniforms:

11380 was the zip code assigned to this Post Office, and of course that's "Mr. Zip" levitating across the sky in front of the Unisphere.

PO_employee_uniform_patch.jpg

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Thanks, Randy. I have tried to look for the real World's Fair stamps but no luck. Btw in this link you can see the Swedish "brevlÄda 3" that I believe is the one there.

http://www.postmuseum.posten.se/uthyrni ... rens2.html I have also found out that Norway and Denmark had red ones.

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Yes, I was looking at my photos last night and spotted that same "ramp" (or what looks like a ramp, but don't have any more information.

Since most post offices have upstairs "postal inspectator" observation stations to look down at the sorting floor, maybe they did the same thing with the 'tour'- led them up a ramp to observe sorting operations from above.

The same way the tour runs at the Bureau of Engraving & Printing in Washington- a catwalk that looks down on machines and employees.

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From the April 5, 1964 issue of the Long Island Press.

It seems to confirm the guess that the tour looked down on the operation from a "gallery".

But it also says there were self-service machines (I already knew that the first "self service post office" was introduced in Rhode Island in 1962), so maybe they didn't have a sales counter after all?

I have a photo or two of the "writing tables" that are mentioned toward the end of this article.

Post_Office-news_article.jpg

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Randy,

The quality of the newspaper photo isn't the best but I can make out some kind of display counter or something like that. Wait a minute! Maybe when you walked into the Post Office there was a desk where hosts would stay (plus it would stop you from going into the active post office area). Then you would go up a "ramp" and observe the post office operations from up above.

WorldsFairEnthusiast

P.S. I'd love to see your photos of the "writing tables".

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#8

Post_Office_08.jpgPost_Office_08a.jpg

#9 maybe Turkey?

Post_Office_09.jpgPost_Office_09a.jpg

#10

Post_Office_10.jpgPost_Office_10a.jpg

#11

Post_Office_11.jpgPost_Office_11a.jpg

#12

Post_Office_12.jpg

#13

Post_Office_13.jpg

#14

Post_Office_14.jpg

#15

Post_Office_15.jpg

#16

Post_Office_16.jpg

#17 West Germany

Post_Office_17-West_Germany.jpg

#18

Post_Office_18.jpg

#19 Switzerland

Post_Office_19-Switzerland.jpg

#20 New Zealand

Post_Office_20-New_Zealand.jpg

#21 United States (I think this was probably an "active" box- it seems to have the card on the lower front listing the pickup times)

Post_Office_21-United_States.jpg

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Going back to an old post (no pun intended) #3 says "The Vatican". I rescanned the slide and it showed up. I'll see if I can decipher any others later.

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Hooray, I can contribute something interesting!

Here is one exterior and three interiors from the World's Fair Post Office, from June 1965.

post-5109-0-94846200-1326228578_thumb.jp

post-5109-0-89843900-1326228583_thumb.jp

post-5109-0-28729700-1326228588_thumb.jp

post-5109-0-58041200-1326228592_thumb.jp

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I suspected the pictures in the background of the last photo are LBJ (obviously) and the postmaster general John Gronouski, but I went to look for a conformation photo on Gronouski. Lo and behold, it looks like the same picture!

GronouskiJA_02.JPG

By the way, the second photo shows the much-discussed "ramp" in the background. This was the way visitors went up and down to a mezzanine catwalk level where they could look down on the workers and machines (and take photos like these). I wonder if photos were banned by the P.O.- but this person took some anyway.

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Glad you guys liked these. I noticed the LBJ pic, thanks for the ID on the other one!

I love those lamps (the ones with the numbers on them) in the third photo.

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