Parts of a Mailbox

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A mailbox can have various parts.
A mailbox can have various parts. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Mailboxes are often made of wood or metal to protect the contents of the mailbox. Since the content is often made of paper, it is important that a mailbox has certain components that make it durable and reliable. Despite the materials used to build it, a standard mailbox has specific features and parts that make it solid and useful.

Wooden Frame

The wooden frame consists of the two sides, the front and the back. The wooden frame is essentially the basic body of the mailbox. The wooden frame does not necessarily have to be a rectangular box, as the backside can be taller for a slanted mailbox. The mailbox frame can also be a half-moon-shaped mailbox, where the door is placed in the front rather than the top of the mailbox.

Mailbox Door or Lid

The mailbox door or lid is the part of the mailbox that can be moved or opened, so the mail can be retrieved. If the mailbox is a standard rectangular box, the lid is often placed on top on the box, so the lid can be opened upward. The mailbox door can also open outward, if the design places the door on the side or end of a tube mailbox or a half-moon mailbox.

Lock

Mailbox lids will often have a small lock or mechanism attached to them, so the lid will remain closed in windy or rainy conditions. It is important that the mailbox protects the mail in the box, so locks can help keep the lid securely closed on the mailbox.

Hooks for Newspapers

While some mailboxes are large enough to hold newspapers, smaller mailboxes can only store advertisements and letters. To hold newspapers for you until you get home to empty your mailbox, some mailboxes will have long hooks installed on them, so the hooks hang below the mailbox. The postman can place rolled up newspapers on the hooks.

Installation Pole

If the mailbox is not installed on your house, the mailbox will need a wooden pole to be attached to. These are common for mailboxes that are placed at the end of long driveways or country homes, where the main street is far from the house itself.

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