Anthony Trollope and the Introduction of Pillar Boxes in Great Britain
Linn’s Stamp News provides a history of the pillar box as introduced to the U.K. by Anthony Trollope in 1852:
Pillar boxes — the red, cast-iron mail receptacles on the streets and roadways of the United Kingdom — are as iconic to England as Big Ben and red double-decker buses. Pillar boxes were introduced to the British Isles in 1852. Their inspiration came from Europe. A surveyor for the British Post Office, Anthony Trollope (1815-1882), was sent to Europe to observe postal schemes there. He was much taken by large kiosk-like cylindrical pillars located in public spots that had slots at the top of them through which the public deposited mail for the post office to pick up and deliver. He thought the devices worthy of adoption in the United Kingdom….
The British Postal Museum and Archives says of Trollope: “Certainly, it was Trollope that … had the vision to see the potential for the first use of pillar boxes by the British Post Office and actually recommend and see through their introduction.”