The Post Office moves approximately six billion pieces of mail per year. The only way to sort such a huge volume efficiently is by a mechanized system. However, the lack of a postal code on a letter or parcel renders the system useless. By the late 1960's, urbanization and increasing volumes were beginning to plug the traditional sortation system. Postal mechanization and coded mail were the recommended solutions. Mechanization has since sped forward with the all-important Postal Code. Devised by the Post Office, the code has a minimum life of thirty years and is capable of being updated. It consists of three numbers and three letters. People find such a sequence easier to memorize than one consisting entirely of numbers. So accurate is the code, that it can zero in on one face of a city block, or even a single address receiving over fifty pieces of mail a day. Such progress has not been achieved without problems, but the Postal Code illustrates how the Post Office has leaped from the horse-and- buggy era to the computer age in one decade. The Postal Code stamps were designed by Don Haws of Toronto. The designs touch in a humorous way on one of the most important aspects of the code. Remember to use it!
Canada. Post Office Department. [Postage Stamp Press Release], 1979.
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