Arago: Household Mailboxes

Household Mailboxes

Rural Free Delivery mailbox


Earl Kompelein of Garvin, Minnesota, used this saltbox-style mailbox with a red signal flag on a Rural Free Delivery route.

The mailbox is made of an iron alloy that may have been plated with tin and painted a shiny silver color. The mailbox is a rectangular shape with a sloping top and lid. The lid is secured with a latch mounted on the front side that feeds through a hole in the lid. The right side of the lid has a red square flag attached with a bolt.

A note on conservation:

Part of a museum's responsibility is caring for its collections. When museums acquire new objects, the conservation department writes condition reports that detail the state of the objects. Conservators also write condition reports before an object is put on exhibit, noting what treatments they perform to stabilize an object for an exhibit environment. The following is an excerpt from the condition report for this RFD mailbox:

The mailbox is worn. Before installation the mailbox was cleaned and coated with a fairly thick layer of wax. On the top right side of the lid there were graffiti marks that penetrated the wax and paint layer and appeared to be scratches in the surface. The paint layer was also discolored and abraded on the high relief areas. Conservation painted out the graffiti scratches and other abrasions using acrylic paint and dry pigment to simulate the old paint.

20th Century
EARL KOMPELEIN / GARVIN MN. 56132 (on inside of mailbox lid)
10 x 6 x 18 in (25.4 x 15.24 x 45.72 cm)
Museum ID:


Additional Records

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