Postal zones came before zip codes

Postal Zones Came Before Zip CodesZIP Codes, those handy little five digits (okay, sometimes nine… ZIP+4) are something we use regularly, yet probably don’t think much about. They’ve existed since the beginning of time, right? Or at least since the inception of the Postal Service (USPS), right? Wrong! In fact, they have only been in existence for about 50 years. Since then, their use has reached far beyond the intention of their initial purpose, which was simply to improve the efficiency of mail delivery, but more on that in a bit.

The Zone Improvement Plan – ZIP Code system – has roots that reach back to WWII. In 1943, the Postal Service implemented postal zones for large cities as a way of making mail sorting easier for the new and inexperienced postal clerks who were filling in for those who had gone into military service. Cities were assigned a two-digit code. For example:

  • • Rochester, NY – 11
    • Minneapolis, MN – 16
    • Boston, MA – 24
  • • Los Angeles, CA – 54

This system remained in place until July 1, 1963, when the current ZIP Code system was implemented. The country is divided into ten geographical regions (groups of states), and the first digit of the codes designate the area: zero in the Northeast all the way to nine in the West.

The second and third digits, combined with the first, identify a sectional center facility (SCF), which is a postal facility that serves as a processing and distribution center for an area. In most cases there is one SCF for every unique 3-digit ZIP Code range, although some SCFs cover several.

The fourth and fifth numbers identify a much more specific area whether a district, city, town, village or a smaller area within these. There are currently over 42,000 ZIP Codes in use today.

Postal Zones Came Before Zip Codes

ZIP Codes 101

The “ZIP” in ZIP Code stands for “Zone Improvement Plan”. A ZIP Code indicates the destination post office or delivery area to which a letter will be sent for final sorting for delivery.

Looking for the ZIP Code of a specific address? Find it using our free demo.

ZIP Codes designate delivery routes and areas. That's their whole shtick. For further information on how they work and how to read them, look below.

What ZIP Codes Are and How they Work

There are three main parts of the 5-digit ZIP Code—the national area, the region or city, and the delivery area.The United States Postal Service (USPS) has segmented the country into 10 ZIP Code areas. Starting in the northeast, they are numbered 0-9. The map below shows each ZIP Code's region:

Postal Zones Came Before Zip Codes

The first digit of the ZIP Code is allocated as follows:

ZIP Codes Beginning With States
Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Army Post Office Europe, Fleet Post Office Europe
1 Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania
2 District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia
3 Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Army Post Office Americas, Fleet Post Office Americas
4 Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio
5 Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin
6 Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska
7 Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas
8 Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming
9 Alaska, American Samoa, California, Guam, Hawaii, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Palau, Washington, Army Post Office Pacific, Fleet Post Office Pacific

Reading a ZIP Code

After the first number in a ZIP Code is assigned, the USPS assigns the next two numbers according to city. If a region has a main town or city, the USPS will often assign it the first ZIP Codes. After that, the ZIP Codes will proceed alphabetically.

Postal Zones Came Before Zip Codes

The first three digits of a ZIP Code together usually indicate the sectional center facility to which that ZIP Code belongs. This facility is the mail sorting and distribution center for a zone or area.

Some sectional center facilities have multiple three-digit codes assigned to them.

For example, the Northern Virginia sectional center facility in Merrifield is assigned ZIP Codes beginning in 220, 221, 222, and 223.

The fourth and fifth digits of the ZIP Code represent the area of the city or town. For example, if a letter is received with a ZIP Code of 47722, the USPS can know that it's in Indiana (4), it's in Vanderburgh county (77), and it's in the area of the University of Evansville (22).

ZIP Codes are Lines, Not Shapes

ZIP Codes are not drawn according to state boundaries. In fact, since they are designed only to increase mailing efficiency, ZIP Codes can and do cross county and state boundaries. For example:

  • 42223 spans Christian County, Kentucky, and Montgomery County, Tennessee
  • 97635 includes portions of Lake County, Oregon, and Modoc County, California
  • 51023 and 51001 are in both Iowa and Nebraska

ZIP-код

Карта почтовых зон с указанием первых двух-трёх цифр ZIP-кодов для штатов и островных территорий США

ZIP-коды (англ. ZIP codes) — система почтовых индексов, используемая Почтовой службой США с начала 1960-х годов.

See also:  What is the space-time continuum?

Аббревиатура ZIP происходит от англ. Zone Improvement Plan («зональный план улучшения»)[1]. ZIP-коды применяются для более быстрой сортировки почты и ускорения доставки. Первоначально они состояли из пяти цифр, но в 1980-х годах были расширены до девяти цифр, которые записываются через дефис — XXXXX-YYYY, например, 12345-6789.

История

Почтовая служба США приступила к использованию почтовых индексов в больших городах ещё в 1943 году, когда почтовый адрес стал записываться следующим образом:

Mr. John Smith
3256 Epiphenomenal Avenue
Minneapolis 16, Minnesota

Марочный буклет США (1968), на купоне которого начертано напоминание: «Используй ZIP-код» (англ. «Use Zip code»)

Число 16 при этом обозначало номер почтового округа в пределах города.

К началу 1960-х годов появилась потребность в более всеобъемлющей системе почтовых индексов. 1 июля 1963 года такая новая система была принята в тестовом режиме на всей территории США. «Отцом» ZIP-кодов считается Роберт Мун (Robert Moon), работник почтового ведомства. Именно Мун предложил новую систему индексов ещё в 1944 году, когда он работал почтовым инспектором.

Согласно новшеству, первые три цифры в пятизначном ZIP-коде соответствовали номеру того или иного централизованного пункта (sectional center facility) по сортировке почтовых отправлений, стекавшихся из почтовых отделений, которые были приписаны к этому сортировочному пункту. Последние две цифры означали номер почтового отделения, куда следовало направить посылаемую корреспонденцию и в случае крупных городов совпадали с прежним номером почтового округа. В результате адрес стал выглядеть следующим образом:

Mr. John Smith
3256 Epiphenomenal Avenue
Minneapolis 55416, Minnesota

В 1967 году система ZIP-кодов стала обязательной на всей территории США.

Для популяризации почтовых индексов был создан мультипликационный персонаж «Мистер ZIP[en]», или «Зиппи» (Mr. ZIP, Zippy).

«Мистер ZIP», призывающий применять ZIP-коды
На крае марочного листа (1966) На рекламном щите в гостинице (1963)

Современность

В 1983 году Почтовая служба США начала употреблять систему индексации ZIP + 4[2], которая основана на расширенном почтовом индексе, состоящем из девяти цифр.

При этом к уже использовавшемуся пятизначному ZIP-коду были добавлены (через дефис) ещё четыре цифры, которые означают местный географический сегмент внутри пятизначного района доставки, например, городской квартал, многоквартирный жилой комплекс, индивидуальный получатель (отправитель) больших объёмов почты или любое подразделение организации (предприятия), для которого требуется дополнительный идентификатор, облегчающий сортировку и доставку корреспонденции. Правительственные учреждения США имеют отдельные пятизначные и девятизначные ZIP-коды, не предусматривающие других пользователей почтовых услуг в почтовой зоне с данным индексом[3]. Иногда ZIP-коды для какой-либо местности могут пересматриваться[4] и даже отменяться[5].

Существуют также «тщеславные» (vanity) zip-коды, например, 10022-SHOE[6][7].

Почтовый адрес с девятизначным индексом 33701-4313 и соответствующий штриховой код типа англ. POSTNET

В современных условиях с внедрением высокотехнологичного оборудования для сортировки почты достаточно использовать пятизначный код.

Устройства многострочного оптического распознавания символов (Multiline Optical Character Reader) считывают адрес на почтовом отправлении, почти мгновенно определяя девятизначный индекс, а также наносят ещё более полный, одиннадцатизначный штриховой код на основе символики POSTNET.

Последний можно также напечатать на своей корреспонденции с помощью компьютерного текстового редактора[8][9]. Для расчета и проверки полного почтового адреса и индекса, или «точки доставки» (delivery point), существуют специальная методика[10] и программное обеспечение (Coding Accuracy Support System).

См. также

  • История почты США
  • Почтовая служба США
  • Почтовый индекс
  • Список почтовых кодов штатов США

Примечания

  1. ↑ ZIP (Zone Improvement Plan) Code (англ.) (недоступная ссылка). Learn Paper Terms. Glossary — Z. Tecstra Systems Corporation/PrintingTips.com; International Paper Company. Дата обращения 4 мая 2010. Архивировано 27 апреля 2005 года.
  2. ↑ ZIP + 4 (англ.) (недоступная ссылка). Learn Paper Terms. Glossary — Z.

    Tecstra Systems Corporation/PrintingTips.com; International Paper Company. Дата обращения 4 мая 2010. Архивировано 27 апреля 2005 года.

  3. ↑ См., например:
    • Contacting the Airports Authority (англ.). About The Authority. Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Дата обращения 4 мая 2010. Архивировано 24 апреля 2012 года.
    • About Us (англ.). Press Room. Federal Citizen Information Center of the U.S. General Services Administration. — «For years, consumers have written to Pueblo, Colorado 81009 for timely, practical information they trust.». Дата обращения 4 мая 2010. Архивировано 18 июня 2012 года.
  4. Roberts S.

    An elite ZIP code becomes harder to crack // The New York Times. — 2007. — March 21. (англ.) (Проверено 4 мая 2010)

  5. Wheary, Rob; Wagner, Jim; Bogdan, Leon. Centralia loses its ZIP; ‘Centralia’ OK, just not the zip; Centralians win postal service fight (англ.). News. Centralia PA Columbia County Conyngham Township.

    Дата обращения 4 мая 2010. Архивировано 24 апреля 2012 года.

  6. ↑ Saks department gets own ZIP code: 10022-SHOE — USATODAY.com (неопр.). Дата обращения 26 апреля 2013. Архивировано 28 апреля 2013 года.
  7. ↑ VANITY ZIP CODES (неопр.). Дата обращения 26 апреля 2013. Архивировано 28 апреля 2013 года.

  8. ↑ Insert a barcode into an Office document (англ.). Using SharePoint sites to collaborate. Microsoft Office Online; Microsoft Corporation. — «Applies to: Microsoft Office Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Word 2007». Дата обращения 4 мая 2010. Архивировано 24 апреля 2012 года.

  9. ↑ Archived: How can I print routing bar codes on envelopes? (англ.). Knowledge Base. University Information Technology Services; The Trustees of Indiana University. Дата обращения 4 мая 2010. Архивировано 24 апреля 2012 года.
  10. United States Postal Service. CASS Technical Guide.

    2009—2010 cycle Архивировано 19 апреля 2009 года.. — September 2008. — 122 p. (англ.) (Проверено 4 мая 2010)  (недоступная ссылка с 04-09-2013 [2468 дней] — историякопия)

Литература

  • Почта недели // Русский Базар. — 2007. — № 28 (586). — 12—18 июля. (Проверено 4 мая 2010)

Ссылки

В родственных проектах

  • Значения в Викисловаре
  • Медиафайлы на Викискладе
  • Портал «Филателия»
  • ZIP Code Lookup (англ.). USPS — The United States Postal Service (U.S. Postal Service). Дата обращения 4 мая 2010. Архивировано 24 апреля 2012 года.
  • Latest Status Info. ZIP code (англ.). Trademark Applications and Registrations Retrieval (TARR). USPTO Site Index — Z. United States Patent and Trademark Office. Дата обращения 4 мая 2010. Архивировано 24 апреля 2012 года.
  • US ZIP codes — ZIP codes search engine.
В другом языковом разделе есть более полная статья ZIP code (англ.).Вы можете помочь проекту, расширив текущую статью с помощью перевода. При этом, для соблюдения правил атрибуции, следует установить шаблон {{переведённая статья}} на страницу обсуждения, либо указать ссылку на статью-источник в комментарии к правке.

ZIP Codes: A History

Since 1963, mail has been zipping along its route thanks to the introduction of ZIP codes. But it hasn’t always been that way. Let's see how ZIP codes started and how they've changed over the years.

The prehistory of the ZIP code

In the early days of the U.S. Postal Service, mailing addresses weren’t regulated.

You might have used the recipient’s street address along with the city and state, but you wouldn’t have seen a ZIP code.

Mail was hand-sorted, and delivery relied on local knowledge of its intended destination. It was better than colonial days when people relied on friends and merchants to deliver messages, but not much.

Postal districts are formed

Use of the postal system increased significantly after 1940, so efforts were made to simplify the sorting and delivery process. In 1943, a system of postal districts was formed for major cities.

Each district was assigned a one- or two-digit code that senders would place in between the city name and the state name.

This helped, but the increased volume of mail soon created a need for mechanization.

The ZIP code is born

In 1961, the USPS increased efficiency by implementing the Nationwide Improved Mail Service system. NIMS standardized the physical dimensions for envelopes and shape limitations for packages, which made mechanization possible.

Next, Postmaster General Edward Day took Philadelphia Postal Inspector Robert Moon’s proposal for improvements in the postal district codes and initiated the Zone Improvement Plan or ZIP codes.

This plan expanded the two-digit city coding system into a five-digit system that included three digits for the general geographical area followed by the two-digit city district code. When addressing mail, you would now place the ZIP code at the end of the address, after the state.

Mr. ZIP takes the campaign national

Learning from the hardships of the telephone companies, which met widespread hesitancy when introducing area codes, Day launched a public pre introduction campaign. The cartoon character Mr. ZIP symbolized the speedy service and increased accuracy that the new ZIP codes would bring. Mr. ZIP worked, increasing acceptance of the idea to 90 percent and public use to 83 percent by 1969.

Today’s 9-digit ZIP code

In 1983, the USPS expanded ZIP codes further by introducing the ZIP+4 system.

This nine-digit system added four numbers to everyone's ZIP code, identifying the side of the street for an address or, in the case of some very large buildings, the part of the building where the addressee is located. This allows more detailed sorting, so postal carriers can get your mail to you more quickly.

Want to learn more about efficient mail delivery? Check out myMailHouse to see how you can send mail online in five minutes or less.

ZIP Codes: Map 1963 Through Today

A ZIP code is a numbering system with separate code numbers for all cities in the United States.

On April 30, 1963, Postmaster General John A. Gronouski announced that the ZIP Code would begin on July 1, 1963. The United States Post Office Department introduced the Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) Code, a coding system that assigned codes on maps to all addresses in the country.

In 1943 the United States Post Office Department divided cities into zones to assist in speeding sorting and mail delivery. By July 1963, a five-digit zip code had been assigned to every address throughout the United States map.

What do the ZIP Code Digits Stand For?

There are five digits in the original ZIP Codes. The first digit indicates one of ten large geographic areas in the country, ranging from zero in the Northest to nine in the far West.

The second and third digits indicate metropolitan areas and sectional centers accessible to common transportation.

The fourth and fifth ZIP Code digits indicate local post offices or postal zones in larger cities.

How are ZIP Codes used by the Post Office?

This new Zoning Improvment Plan coding system made it necessary to establish large transportation centers throughout the country to relieve major metropolitan post offices of the burden of processing all the mail.

In 1965, a high-speed optical reader was introduced by the United States Post Office Department. This machine could sort mail by reading the ZIP Code automatically.

They read the address and printed a bar code on the envelope that corresponded to them.

At destination post offices, a bar code sorter then read the bar code and sorted the letters by ZIP Code and address into appropriate holding areas to await delivery.

Sectional centers are where most mail is processed. A letter mailed at your local post office may be delivered to a sectional center if it isn’t destined for delivery within the same ZIP Code as you mailed it. Before delivery to local post offices for mail carriers to distribute mail to its final destination, automated systems sort the mail and postmark it.

For more information about the automation of the United States Postal Service, please see our article on ZIP Codes and automation.

Zip Codes Plus: The ZIP + 4 Code

In 1983, the United States Postal Service expanded the ZIP Code system to include four more digits. This is called the ZIP + 4 Code. The additional digits identify even more precisely the mail’s destination.

According the the United States Post Office, the new sixth and seventh digits indicate a “delivery sector, such as several blocks, a group of streets, a group of post office boxes, several office buildings, or a small geographic area.

The last two numbers denote a delivery segment, which might be one floor of an office building, one side of a street between intersecting streets, specific departments in a firm, or a group of post office boxes.”

This new ZIP + 4 Code speeded up mail handling by reducing the number of times a letter had to be handled, and reducing the time mail carriers spent placing their mail in the order of delivery.

A multiline Optical Character Reader reads the address, then sprays a barcode representing the ZIP + 4 plus two additional digits indicating the exact delivery street address.

Using this barcode database, it can sort the mail in the correct sequence for each carrier’s delivery route.

The Importance of the Correct ZIP Code

The United States Postal Service emphasizes the importance of addressing your mail correctly in order to assure timely delivery. According to the Postal Service, “Using the correct ZIP Code helps to direct your mail more efficiently and accurately.

” They suggest you use a site such as zip-codes.com to obtain the correct ZIP Code, as well as the correct spelling of the City and State. If you need to get a ZIP Code and don’t have access to the Internet, you can call 1·800·ASK·USPS and get it by phone.

Using zip code maps can also help and may save you a dime on the call.

The Surprising History and Meaning Behind Every Zip Code

Getty Images

Although written letters may be becoming a less popular medium of communication than email and cell phones, there will likely be a need for mail delivery for the foreseeable future—and thus, a need for zip codes. But besides potentially determining property taxes, what do zip codes really mean and why do we have them?

Zip codes are actually a much more recent phenomenon than you might believe. In fact, they're only 52 years old—a concept that was introduced during World War II, and officially implemented in 1963.

The zip (Zoning Improvement Plan) code was created when the postal service lost a huge portion of their staff who went to fight in the war.

Because of this, they needed a simple way to help the understaffed postal service deliver mail effectively.

Initially, the zip code was only a two-digit number: the first denoted the city, the second denoted the state. But as the need for delivery expanded, so did the concept of the zip code. As of 1963, zip codes' numbers are determined by a few factors: the area, the regional postal facility and the local zone.

The first number of the five-digit code signifies the region which the address is located in, a number that grows from the east coast to the west.

For example, Eastern states such as Maine and New York begin with 0 or 1, whereas the Western states of California and Washington begin with a 9.

The second two digits in the code determine a smaller region within each initial area that translates to a central post office facility for that area. The final two digits signify the local post office of the address.

You may have noticed that zip codes often have a hyphenated four-digit number on the back end which is rarely used. This annex was created to help further specify addresses, but according to Business Insider, the creation of sorting and location technologies removed the need for the additional four numbers. The final numbers further specified the location of the delivery area.

[via Business Insider]

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