Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Random vintage photo: A woman and a mailbox in Denmark

Here's an unlabeled shot from my grandmother's collection of travel snapshots. It's pretty straightforward. A woman — don't know who — in a blue pantsuit is standing next to a red mailbox in Denmark.

We know that it's Denmark, because the mailbox features the logo of the Danish postal service.

Postbrevkasse is, as you might have guessed, the Danish word for mailbox.

An English translation of the history section of the Post Danmark A/S website gives a little information about the early history of the postal service in Denmark:
"King Christian II’s temporal act from 1522 contains the first attempt to establish a postal service in Denmark, but the project petered out. King Christian IV took up the idea, and on December 24, 1624, he issued a 'Royal Ordinance on Postmen', called the birth certificate of the Danish Post Office. Nine postal routes were established. The most important route was the one between Copenhagen and Hamburg, where letters, parcels and goods were transported by carriage whereas postmen who went by foot and only carried letters served the other routes.

"In Copenhagen, a postmaster was appointed to stay at Børsen, the Exchange in Copenhagen, two hours each day and personally handle administrative as well as practical affairs, so it was not without reason that it was mentioned in the Ordinance that he had to be a 'sober and diligent man'. In the provincial towns which the postmen passed they took lodgings in an inn, for instance, and the landlord was to accept and distribute letters to addressees who lived in places not on the actual route."

Finally, on a tangent, this snapshot contains a minor mystery we'll never be able to solve. What's that sign or poster on the wall behind the mailbox? I fear we don't have enough resolution to ever figure it out.

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