A ZIP code is a set of numbers that are used by the U.S postal services to sort and deliver mail more effectively. They were first introduced in 1963 and are a numerical sequence of five numbers. ZIP is an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan. In most cases, four extra digits are now added to a Zip code to give more precise information about where the post needs to be delivered for distribution. ZIP codes are now an accepted and mandatory part of addressing post. Have you ever wondered who invented the ZIP code? Read on to find out.
Who Invented the ZIP Code?
Prior to the use of ZIP codes The U.S Postal Department had implemented postal zones for large cities. These were a simple two digit number that allowed the post to be delivered to the correct post office. This worked for a while, but by the 1960s many towns and cities had become larger and a huge influx of business mail created the need for a more general and standardized system. The Postal Department had considered and discarded a number of postal code systems, but finally decided on a five code system adopted from a three code system developed by Robert Moon.
Robert Moon had developed his system for sorting mail in the 1940’s as a postal inspector in Philadelphia. The three digit code allowed mail to be quickly sorted and distributed to the correct postal office in the Philadelphia area. He submitted this idea to the U.S postal department in 1944, but nothing came of it until much later. Robert Moon is today credited as being the father of the ZIP code.