Re: A Binoculars find.
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Oh. Okay. I thought you lucked into a "matching pair" of binoculars. My bad there.
As for the address in the case, this sort of puts a "no later than" date to these in a way. Not long ago I did some research into zip codes for someone in another (old) Yahoo! Group who posted a photo of something he found with an address on it that had only 2 digits in the zip code and said he'd never seen one like it. (His was "Pittsburgh 22, PA", and the date on it was 1958.)
Zip codes started out in the 1940s when many postal workers - with knowledge of where everyone lived from sorting and delivering the mail for so long - went off to fight in WWII, leaving the postal service short-handed. They hired new people, but those people didn't have the "geographic knowledge" to toss mail into the right bags and deliver the letters to the right places as if it was second nature to them.
They needed to find an easier way to sort and deliver mail, so in 1943 they created something called a "Postal Zone" that separated the country into postal districts (cities) within states. This led to the 2-digit "postal zone" that you see in your case's label, Kent. The pattern was for letters' addresses to have the 2-digit postal zone placed between the city and the state (i.e. your "Louisville 11, KY" and the one mentioned above) because the first digit denoted the city, and the second was for the state. And so we have the first draft of what would eventually become the zip code.
Mail flow increased almost exponentially after the War when everyone came home and new cities, towns, and houses started springing up to house all of the service men and women and their families (a good example of such places that comes to mind is Levittown, Long Island, NY). So, the Postal Service needed to improve on the Postal Zone to narrow things down into smaller "Areas" to help facilitate sorting and delivery.
One postal inspector suggested adding a third digit to narrow things down, and the Postal Service bandied the idea around for several years until, finally, on July 1st,1963 they introduced the 5-digit "Zone Improvement Plan" (a.k.a. ZIP) Code, where the first digit denoted the region (eastern states started with 0, 1, 2, etc.) all the way to western states getting into the 8s and 9s. The second two digits were for a smaller region within the state, usually the central post office in the area. The last two digits denoted the local post office for the specific address.
In 1983 the Postal Service decided to improve upon this again and introduced the "+4" to the existing ZIP Codes (or known by then as just "zip codes", reducing the "ZIP" acronym to a simple word). The new +4 narrowed things down to specific streets and houses, even what side of the street the house is on.
Well, that's a history of the zip code in a nutshell, although my neighbor, being retired Navy and a retired Postal Worker, still has people in the Postal Service that he talks to, and there are rumors that the +4 might be looking at getting more digits added to it, so who knows how many digits a zip code will get up to?
Anyway, Kent, the person that owned those binoculars before you at one time put that address label inside the case before 1963, but after 1943, so you've got a 20-year window for when those beauties were used (and nicely loved by the pristine appearance they have!).
I hope some of this babbling was interesting to everyone. (It was to me when I researched it.)
Keep looking up!"
From: Kent Blackwell <kent@...>
Sent: Wed, Oct 20, 2021 10:46 am
Subject: Re: [BackBayAstro] A Binoculars find.
It's only ONE pair. I merely photographed the left and right side of the prism housings to show the nomenclature. I'm not sure of the date of these but whom ever had them before had a label in the case with his address, Louisville 11, KY. My goodness, how long has it been that we've used ZIP codes? His address predates a ZIP code.