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Gift from Department of Posts & Telegraphs

Post box


This solid, cast-iron post box speaks of continuity and change. Carrying the symbols of then reigning British monarch, George V, it tells us of the transition in the early 1920s to an independent Ireland.

“Friend of all and the enemy of none”[1]


The post box was and is still, a common sight. This and their geographic spread meant that they were an early and easy opportunity for the new state to impress upon the wider public recent political changes. In one sense, the decision to change the colour of post boxes in 1922 was almost a return to their original colour. Early post boxes in Britain and Ireland had been painted an olive or bronze green and it wasn’t until 1874 that ‘pillar box red’ became the recognised colour we associate with British post boxes. Whilst the decision to use ‘Emerald’ green was easily adopted, the symbols and lettering of the British monarchs, Victoria, Edward VIII and George V, were part of the body of the post box, hence more difficult to remove and examples of which can still be found in our streets and roads today.


[1] Ferguson, Stephen, The Irish Post Box, Dublin (2009), p.42


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