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Mr. ZIP on a 1963 U.S. Post Office sign.

Mr. ZIP, informally "Zippy", is a cartoon character used in the 1960s by the United States Post Office Department, and later by its successor, the United States Postal Service, to encourage the general public to include the ZIP code in all mailings.

Origins[edit]

The USPS has described the origin of Mr. ZIP as follows:[1]

Mr. ZIP was based on an original design by Howard Wilcox, son of a letter carrier and a member of the Cunningham and Walsh advertising agency, for use by a New York bank in a bank-by-mail campaign. Wilcox's design was a child-like sketch of a postman delivering a letter. The figure was used only a few times, then filed away. Later, AT&T acquired the design and made it available to the Post Office Department at no cost. ... Miami-based Post Office Department artist Joe Lawrence retained the face but sharpened the limbs and torso and added a mail bag. The new figure, who Lawrence had dubbed Mr. ZIP, was unveiled at a convention of postmasters in October 1962.

Post Office use[edit]

Zippy attached to a 1966 Mary Cassatt stamp.

The Post Office had little difficulty in getting mass mailers to use the ZIP Code as it could make its inclusion a condition for receiving preferential mailing rates and soon did. However, there was some resistance by the general public, members of whom would mail items without ZIP Code, almost invariably at the full rate for First Class Mail, which by regulation had to be delivered if at all possible and feasible. This was particularly true of older mailers. Mr. ZIP was the Post Office's answer to this, apparently intended to teach small children to always use the ZIP Code as they got older and also to encourage their parents and grandparents to do so.

Mr. ZIP is a caricature of a mail carrier, wide-eyed and drawn with his letter bag trailing him in such a way as to imply his travelling at extreme speed, and sometimes holding on to his hat with his free hand. His hair was straight, but his skin was somewhat orange, making him non racially-identifiable. His limbs were very thin, almost like those of a stick figure. He was particularly used on posters promoting ZIP Code use. The character was largely phased out by the late 1970s, but the Post Office retained rights to the copyrighted figure.

Mr. ZIP appeared on the selvage (non-postally valid areas) of stamp panes (more commonly called "sheets") for many stamp issues, beginning with the 5 cent Sam Houston stamp issued January 10, 1964, although the 5¢ Battle of the Wilderness stamp of May 5, 1964, is sometimes listed as the "first" because it appears earlier in most stamp catalogs due to its inclusion in a five-issue Civil War series. He also appeared on non-postally-valid labels inside, or on the cover of, stamp booklets. Stamp collectors sometimes collect the corner block of four stamps with the part of the selvage bearing Mr. ZIP; these are called "ZIP blocks". Mr. ZIP appeared in the blank selvage of United States stamps until January 1986.[1]

The Post Office re-introduced Mr. ZIP to stamps in 2013, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ZIP Code system.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mr. ZIP- The nation’s original ‘digital’ icon
  2. ^ 5 Digits, 50 Years: The Triumphant Return of Mr. ZIP

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._ZIP — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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Rapper Zipparah 'Mr Zip' Tafari stuns with his BGT audition song Where's My Phone. Can Zippy - as Simon Cowell calls him - win over the Britain's Got Talent ...

Mr Zip Semi final [HD] Where me keys where me phone - Britains got talent 2012

Zipparah Tafari, Mr Zip HD - Britains got talent 2012 Live Semi finals. Mr Zip performing a rap he wrote himself called 'Lost My Keys' . Britain searches for a new ...

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Get your copy of 'Where Me Keys, Where Me Phone?' here: http://bit.ly/Zipkeysphone Like Zip on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MrZipOfficial Follow Zip ...

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Description: Watch Zipparah 'Mr Zip' Tafari work the stage with his self-penned hit Keys and Phone song in the Britain's Got Talent Live Semi Final. See more ...

Zipparah, Mr Zip, "Where me keys, where me phone" - Britain's Got Talent 2012 - UK version

Rapper Zipparah 'Mr Zip' Tafari stuns with his BGT audition song Where's My Phone. Can Zippy -- as Simon Cowell calls him -- win over the Britain's Got Talent ...

Official Mr Zip Where Me Keys, Where Me Phone? dance tutorial

Get your copy of 'Where Me Keys, Where Me Phone?' here: http://bit.ly/Zipkeysphone Like Zip on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MrZipOfficial Follow Zip ...

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Zipparah Tafari, Mr Zip HD - Britains got talent 2012 auditions. Mr Zip performing a rap he wrote himself called 'Lost My Keys' . Zippy was a hit with the audience ...

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Mr Zip - Zippa Tafari- 291 Hackney Empire. Comedy Stand up Sketch.

769330 videos foundNext > 

233 news items

WKRN.com

WKRN.com
Mon, 24 Aug 2015 20:22:30 -0700

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Two men are on the run after a Crossville convenience store was robbed at gunpoint early Monday morning. It happened around 4:45 a.m. at the Mr. Zip gas station on Peavine Road. Two black males reportedly entered the ...

Mother Nature Network

Mother Nature Network
Tue, 21 Jul 2015 10:48:45 -0700

Howard Wilcox, the son of a letter carrier, designed the original Mr. Zip, but Post Office Department artist Joe Lawrence refined the illustration before unveiling the character at a postmasters' convention. 2. Unique ZIP codes are reserved for ...
 
Smithsonian (blog)
Tue, 15 Nov 2011 13:52:33 -0800

With a dashing gait and a child's smile, Mr. Zip's presence in advertisements, post offices, and on mail trucks linked the idea of quickness to a cheerful, human face. “These homey touches were to help people look at the ZIP Code not as a threatening ...
 
The Smart Set
Wed, 12 Jun 2013 09:37:22 -0700

Mr. Zip — a hand-drawn, wide-eyed little postal guy — became the face of ZIP code promotional efforts, the embodiment of the harmless yet zippy quality of ZIP codes. ('Mr. Zip' was also a significant improvement on Mr. Zip's original name “Mr. P.O ...

NorthJersey.com

NorthJersey.com
Sun, 31 May 2015 14:22:30 -0700

Mr. ZIP, informally known as "Zippy," is a cartoon character used in the 1960s by the postal service to encourage people to use a ZIP code when sending mail. Borough representatives will try once again to get Kinnelon its own ZIP code. Kinnelon has ...

The Chattanoogan

The Chattanoogan
Wed, 06 Aug 2014 19:37:30 -0700

Crime Stoppers and the Chattanooga Police Department are seeking information regarding a robbery from Mr. Zip at 1905 Gunbarrel Road, Chattanooga. The clerk was stocking the cooler when the suspect entered the store wearing a red hoodie, red ...
 
CSPnet.com
Mon, 06 Aug 2012 14:45:00 -0700

Ken Lewis, manager of the Mr. Zip convenience stores that have been acquired by Fort Worth, Texas-based Textron Energy, a subsidiary of Classic Star Group LP, told CSP Daily News that the Zuber family, which owns Mr. Zip Inc. of Tennessee, is exiting ...

WGBH NEWS

WGBH NEWS
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 22:03:17 -0700

It's hard to imagine now given its success, but when the ZIP code was first launched in July of 1963, it wasn't mandatory, and it wasn't immediately embraced. So a full-fledged marketing blitz was unleashed, complete with a mascot, Mr. ZIP. And – for ...
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