Saturday, April 25, 2009

Malaysian Pillar Post Box

Malaysian Pillar Post Box

When is the last time you sent your letter? Since the advance of IT technology, we have e-mail; face book, skype........all the electronic means of communication. The letter as a means of communication has become rare. I have forgotten when was the last time I sent my last letter, and when was the last time I dropped my letter into the post box.

When I was in London, the London post box was a tourist items, it appeared in all the souvenir items... post cards,T shirts, key chains ........ We , Malaysian have post box too,when will our post box become a tourist items?

I found this post box in front of the 57, Macalister Road. Just in front of the entrance. It bought me back to my memory of posting letters, and my time in London.

It is actually called pillar post box, it is a free standing post box. The mails or letters deposited to the box is waiting for the Post Van to collect and mail to the addressee. Pillar box has been in use since 1852, 12 years after introduction of self adhesive postage stamps.

Most of the pillar post box produced after 1905, are made of cast iron. Cast Iron Pillar Post Box consist of 3 main parts:-

(i) The Cap - sit on top of the body or carcass of post box. It is tightly bolted. It may have Post Office Direction Sign(POD) to indicate the closest post office.
(ii)The door - it contain the posting slot, it should displayed the Royal Cypher(which is the sovereign's monogram or the initials of their names and titles,usually surmounted by a crown) of the reigning monarch, and may also fitted with collection plate, showing the time of collection from the post box at the location. It is fitted with brass security lock on the inside, most of lock used are Chubb Locks. There are 5 level locks with more than 6,500 combination.
(iii)The carcass- It is the body that support the cap and the door of post box.

Red become the standard color in 1874.

The pillar post box found in front of the 57, Macalister Road(which was King Edward Memorial Hospital). The pillar post box found was marked with the royal cypher of Edward VI (12-10-1537 to 6-7-1553), but Penang was only with British in 1786; there was no pillar post box before 1852; red color only become standard in 1874; so it cannot be King Edward VI. King Edward VII(22-1-1901 to 6-5-1910) and Edward VIII(20-1-1936 to 11-12-1936) may be the possible one, and the royal cypher in the post box found may be having technical error. The design on the box is Edward VII box, with aperture on the door, collection plate, and the royal cypher , it was post 1905. The aperture on the door, instead of body of the box, is to avoid the mail to get caught up in the top of the box. The cap was cast iron cap of PB42/1. The earliest time was 1905 under King Edward VII, as the design was also similar the design of the post box in that period, which was the standard design, even until today.

The said post box is now a rare item. Should we protect all our post box?

The ER letter; the E is for Edward, and R is for Rex or Regina
. The number should be VII, instead of VI.

The Royal Cypher of King Edward VI (is mistake, should be King EdwardVII)


  1. I think we can fidn this type of post box in Penang Hill also, if not mistaken.

  2. It's GR VI on the post box. That would be King George VI, who reigned from the 1936 to 1952.

  3. You are right, the Royal Cypher is GR VI, not ER VI.It is G , not E. So it should be from 1936 to 1952.