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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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Zipparah, Mr Zip, "Where me keys, where me phone" - Britain's Got Talent - International 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 ...

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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...

Mr Zip - Where Me Keys, Where Me Phone?

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 on...

Mr Zip HD "Where me keys, Where me phone" - Britains got talent 2012 (auditions)

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 au...

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 Talen...

Mr Zip (Britain's Got Talent) - 'Where's me Keys?' LIVE at 6 Towns Radio Awards 2013

Mr Zip (Britain's Got Talent) - 'Where's me Keys, where's me phone?' LIVE at 6 Towns Radio Awards 2013.

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

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Mr Zip- What Time Is it Mr Zip. Produced 1994. Special thanks to Dizzy D. RIP.

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5 news items

Minneapolis Star Tribune (blog)

Minneapolis Star Tribune (blog)
Tue, 01 Jul 2014 10:49:15 -0700

Should you give stores your zip code? Forbes article says NO NEVER and tells you why. Tl;dr: marketing. I always hate the zip-code question, but the phone number is worse. “It's for your records in case you need to return something.” Sorry. I don't get ...
 
Statesman Journal
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 11:56:15 -0700

6 CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE. Affectionately known as “Mr. Zip” in Aumsville, Larry Rutter likes to run a buoyant ship at the town's post office. “Our customers either leave here laughing, or they leave here warning the next customers ...
 
Liverpool Confidential
Tue, 15 Jul 2014 06:55:29 -0700

Their names are: Sam Callahan, Janet Devlin, Harry Mondryk, Bailey McConnell, Kitty Bruknall, Gabz, Jordan O'Keefe, Giles Potter, Mr Zip, New Bounce, Matt Fitzgerald, Redd, Deedee Loves Me, Tiger Heart, Goodnight April, Amy-Jo Clough, Justin Fehler, ...
 
Memphis Commercial Appeal
Sun, 29 Jun 2014 22:01:00 -0700

The cut-out characters are Mr. Z.I.P. and he is the symbol of the Zone Improvement Program which goes into effect tomorrow. The system uses five-digit area code numbers in addressing letters. 75 years ago: 1938. Today will be a real holiday for the ...
 
Reno Gazette Journal
Fri, 04 Jul 2014 21:07:30 -0700

Forever came a little earlier than Mr. Zip thought it might, thus the present Barbara Vucanovich U.S. Post Office was later built on Vassar Street in 1971. Mill End Fabrics lives in the former Kuenzli Street post office. (There's yet another former ...
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