Mailing a letter used to be so low-tech

Back in pre-1970s New York City, a piece of mail only needed a two-digit “postal code” to get where it was supposed to go. It almost seems too simple, considering what mail requires today: a 5-digit ZIP code, 4-digit add-on number, and a bar code slapped across the bottom.

When the ZIP code was instituted, the old postal codes became the last two digits of the new ZIP. If this card was going in the mail today, the ZIP would be 10022. But the Doubleday Book Shop is long gone. Ferragamo took its place. I bet Ferragamo is not open until midnight.

Amazingly, before 1943, you didn’t have to add any kind of number at all. Just the address was enough.

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