ZIP Codes

Topical Reference Page
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ZIP Code board game

Find resources about ZIP codes and Mr. Zip on the museum's website.

In 1963, the United States Post Office Department (POD) launched an advertising campaign on a grand scale. This memorable campaign made Mr. Zip one of the most easily recognized figures in American advertising.
Glossary terms from "A" to "Z" related to stamp collecting and postal operations.
Object Spotlight

Today, most people hardly think about the series of numbers they put at the bottom of the address on an envelope. However, the inclusion of the Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) Code number on an address was not always second nature.

Mr. ZIP standing cut-out
When the Department introduced the ZIP (Zone Improvement Plan) code system in 1963, the public was...
Object Spotlight

July 1, 2013 was the 50th anniversary of the Zone Improvement Plan, a.k.a. the ZIP Code. The Post Office Department launched an advertising campaign in support of the new service, encouraging Americans to adapt the practice of adding five numbers to each mailing address. ZIP Codes appeared at a time when Americans were already juggling the new area codes and needing to remember their social security numbers on a more regular basis.

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Researching Objects for New Acquisitions

For museums, generally speaking,  “acquisitions” refers to obtaining an object and “accessions” refers to legally taking possession and documenting the object into the museum’s permanent collection. The National Postal Museum recently accessioned several objects into our collection. How did we determine which objects to accession, and what was the process for adding them to our collection? Learn more in a blog by curator Lynn Heidelbaugh.

50 ZIPpy years

July 1, 1963 saw the public introduction of a new way of processing our mail by adding five numbers to each address. These new Zoning Improvement Plan numbers, or ZIP Codes, were used to speed up mail processing.

Curator's Pick -- Dick Tracy and Mr. ZIP

In the summer of 1963 the Post Office Department introduced its new ZIP Code plan to the American public. Every address would be assigned a five-digit number that was to be added to the traditional city and state combination.

Mr. ZIP Changes Zip Codes!

Mr. ZIP just moved into a new house! Mr. ZIP’s previous living quarters were less than perfect. He was elevated off the floor with a Tyvek (a high density polyethylene fiber) sheet draped over his head in a haphazard fashion.