Have you ever wondered where was the first Zip Code issued? In this digital era of the internet, we can just click on our phone and send the necessary mail within seconds and hardly think about Zip Codes.
However, in the past, it was not like that at all. People had to wait for days to get mail. And, if you are unfortunate enough, the package may get damaged or delivered to the wrong doors. For that, post offices had to work very hard to meet their customer’s satisfaction.
But after the second world war, there was a huge shortage of staff members. So, to solve this problem, the postmasters tried to work strategically. Firstly, they divided the whole country into separate postal zones. Then they assigned some numeric and systematic codes. They are called the ZIP codes.
So, let’s learn more about the history, evolution, and work process of ZIP codes. Shall we?
Where was the First Zip Code Issued?
Zone Improvement Codes (ZIP) codes were first invented in 1963. It is a two-way process, and day by day, it got improved. Firstly, in the year 1943, the post office of the Us divided the whole country into separate areas and named them Postal zones. Later, in 1963, they just assigned the postal zones into 4-digit numbers. It is now called the ZIP codes.
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What is a Zip Code?
In the Post office of the US, Zip codes are very important. They make the mail delivery system more precise. It is, in fact, a bunch of systemic and separate codes that divides the cities of the United States. The first zip code in the US was implemented in the city of Puerto Rico, which is 000601.
So, the full meaning of the acronym ZIP is The Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) Code. It is a coding scheme that applies codes on maps to all addresses in the world, was implemented by the United States Post Office Service (USPS).
When did Zip Codes Start?
Postmaster General John A. Gronowski declared on 30th April 1963, that the utilizing of the ZIP Code would begin on 1st July 1963. So, 1963 is the year zip codes started.
ZIP Code History
Currently, zip codes are a far more modern development than you would expect. They are now just 52 years old, a term that was initiated after the Second World War and formally introduced in 1963.
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As the postal service lost a large portion of its workers who went to combat in the war, the zip (Zoning Improvement Plan) code was created. To control the huge pressure of the understaffed post office, they invented a new strategy to work cleverly and technically.
How do Zip Codes Work?
Firstly, the ZIP code used to consist of only two numbers. One implied the city, and the other is the state. Day by day, to make it work more efficiently, the codes for the area, regional postal facility, and finally, the local zone was also added.
One can take two of the States, such as the Eastern states- Maine and New York, for example, begin with 0 or 1; on the other hand, the western states of California and Washington start with an eighth.
Within each initial area, the second two digits in the code designate a smaller region that translates to a central post office facility for that area. The final two digits of the address show the nearest post office.
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ZIP Codes Plus- the ZIP+4 Code
It is the last 4 digits of the 9-digit ZIP codes. It is used to make the delivery system more precise. The additional digits imply more closer addresses such as delivery sector or block or even on which floor the post office is situated. The plus code helped to reduce the delivery time to the right destination.
Here is Bow It Works
A multiline optical reader reads the address on the barcode. Then it sprays the address on the address bar indicating the exact address known to humans. Using the barcode address, the optical reader can sort the mails and sequence them to the correct mailing address.
Importance of Using Correct ZIP Codes
To ensure quick and on-time delivery, the United States Postal Service stresses the importance of addressing the mail correctly. It is reported that, according to the Postal Service, the use of the right ZIP code helps to guide your mail more quickly and reliably.
They recommend that you use a website to find the correct ZIP code address, as well as the correct spelling of the city and the states. If you have the number of your nearest post office, you can just call them by asking for their ZIP code.
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Additionally, you can save the phone bill by just using the ZIP code maps. So, it is your choice which way is better.
There are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the internet. We have listed some of them and tried to give you the answers. Here are they-
Question-01: Where Was the First Zip Code?
Answer: The United States first adopted the ZIP code (Zone Improvement Plan Code) in 1963. The first ZIP code was introduced to the area, Puerto Rico. As it was the first implemented ZIP code, it will be the lowest one. So, the lowest ZIP code in the United States is 00601.
Question-02: When Was the First Zip Code Issued?
Answer: In the post office of the United States (USPS), the ZIP code is used as the postal code. It was first implemented in 1963, consisting of 5-digits; for instance, 00601. An expanded ZIP+4 code was adopted in 1983; it contained the ZIP code of five digits, followed by a hyphen and four digits designating a more precise location.
Question-03: Where Is the Zip Code 00001?
Answer: Zip code was created to make the mail delivery system more efficient. In the state of Alaska, Dillingham Census Area, ZIP code 00001 is used.
Question-04: Who Invented the Zip Code?
Answer: It is considered that Robert Moon is the father of the Zip Code. In 1944, he was a postal inspector in the United States. There, he proposed the initial idea of ZIP code to make the mail delivery system smoother.
Although the post office gives Robert moon his credit for the first three digits, they are called the sectional center facility or sec center.’ The later 2-digits gave the whole ZIP code a complete and precise service to the mail delivery system. The latter was proposed by another man.
Question-05: What Was Before Zip Codes?
Answer: As we all know, the Zip Code was introduced in the late 19th century. So, the question is, how was the mail delivery system before the implementation of the ZIP code.
So, before ZIP codes, there were postal zones. ZIP codes came from the rudimentary codes of postal zones. They can be called the changed version of Posta zones. Postal zones were first introduced in 1943.
Question-06: Why are ZIP Codes 9 Digits?
Answer: Previously, you may have seen the word ZIP+4. They imply that they are the last 4-digits of a 9-digit ZIP code. Two sections compose of a 9-digit ZIP Code. The first element is the first five digits of the zip code. It shows two things- the post office or delivery area of the destination. Within the total distribution area, the last 4 digits of the nine-digit ZIP Code indicate a particular delivery line. Both 9-digit total zip codes enable.
Although, in this modern world of satellite and mobile phones, we don’t need the old mail delivery system that much, but it is the early idea of how to mail or important things should be delivered to the correct door.
Still, we use the help of Post Offices for delivering couriers to different countries, money transferring or for saving. Sometimes, doing things manually gives us more tension-free satisfaction than online. That is why learning about them is quite important; as it is said that no knowledge is useless.
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We hope now you know where was the first Zip code issued. If you still have difficulties about understanding it, you should read the entire article again. Carefully go through all the topics we have covered, and you will know and understand everything you need.