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Design inspired by mailboxes produced in the 50s and 60s that complements your home's midcentury aesthetic.
Design inspired by mailboxes produced in the 50s and 60s that complements your home's midcentury aesthetic.
Design inspired by mailboxes produced in the 50s and 60s that complements your home's midcentury aesthetic.
322 backers pledged $76,974 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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modbox - Retro Midcentury Modern Mailbox

$76,974

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Hi Kickstarter!

I'm excited to be here with my first project.  If you're a midcentury modern enthusiast I believe you are going to love the modbox.

Find us at:

Website - http://modboxusa.com

 Houzz               Design Milk                Eichler Network                  mid2mod

 Retroist             Praire Mod                No Pattern Required          ModWagen

MidCentury Style Magazine    The House on Rynkus Hill    Va-Voom Vintage

As a midcentury modern enthusiast, I was frustrated when I couldn't find a mailbox that complemented the midcentury aesthetic of our home. In the Fall 2013 issue of Atomic Ranch, a reader asked: "Do you know a good source of 50s period mailboxes? In conclusion, the editor stated "...the retro market seems to be wide open." 

After months of research, I agree.  All of the companies that produced mid century modern mailboxes from the 1950s to mid-1970s had either disappeared or been acquired.  The single remaining company stopped producing their version, called "Sleek Suburban," in the early 90s.

So, the only option was to search eBay and Etsy every day for a vintage mailbox.  Over the past eight months, only two were listed for sale and I bought one.

Good design should last forever, that's why I created modbox - a Retro Mid-Century Modern mailbox.

I searched mailbox patents, old Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs, and past issues of magazines. One modern design stood out. Variations of the design were manufactured by various companies.  Leigh Building Products' mailbox was sold by Montgomery Ward and Sears had a  similar design.

This collage shows some of the mailboxes I found, with the Sears 1961 “Diamond Jubilee – Sears 75 Years” catalog image in the upper left.  The mailbox was “Specially chosen for Sears Jubilee Value.” The mailbox featured two-tone colors with a special angled mailbox post, too.

The modbox incorporates the best design elements from the various manufacturers over the 20-year period

Restored Vintage Mailbox
Restored Vintage Mailbox

The starting point was the dimensions from the vintage Leigh Products mailbox that I bought on eBay. Jim, made famous by Retro Renovation's blog post "Jim and Kathleen's little slice of 1960" Knoxville home, took pictures of his Sears mailbox and sent them to me with dimensions!

Our metal fabricator introduced me to Andy of Vector Product Development. Using SolidWorks 3D CAD Design Software, Andy built the base design models/drawings.  Using GoToMeeting, we made real-time design changes with the ability to look at any view or cross section. Very cool!

During the process, we worked with the fabricator to ensure the modbox could be produced and identified opportunities to reduce cost. The guiding principal was to be true to the originals and keep the design simple.

 Materials & Specifications

Crafted in America, the way it was in the 50s and 60s...

We are using 20 gauge cold rolled steel, the same as was done in the 50s-60s, which is 75% thicker than most mailboxes today.

We'll powder coat the mailbox inside and out, baking at 400 degrees.  This method is more environmentally friendly than using baked enamel.

Anodized aluminum will be used for the flag cap and door pull, similar to the Sears version.  Looks great with the color options!

The modbox measures 7" wide x 7.75" high x 21.25" long.

The post will be constructed of 1-1/4" hot rolled steel with an 11 gauge wall, powder coated, and 57.5" long.  The metal mounting plate is 3.5" x 7.5" with holes that align with those on the bottom of the modbox. No ugly side mounting holes and screws!

Colors

The five color choices are original Eichler Exterior Accent Colors: Turquoise, Sunflower, Pumpkin, Eucalyptus, and Paprika.

Back in 2009, the Retro Renovation blog posted the colors after connecting with the folks at The Eichler Network who did the original research. I hope you like them!

The perfect compliment to modbox. These mid-century modern mailbox numbers were inspired from Richard Neutra's work, where he specified lettering that was open and unobtrusive, the same aesthetic that typified his architecture.

Font shop, House Industries consulted with Neutra's son Dion and studied the archives of acclaimed photographer Julius Shulman to bring the same linear geometry to Neutraface without sacrificing a warm and human feel.

I already have a metal fabricator lined up for production and powder coating of the mailbox and mailbox post.  I've been working with them since December. They are located less than 20 miles away, which will help in resolving manufacturing issues quickly and insure our high standards for quality are met.

As soon as the campaign reaches its goal, I can give the go-ahead for the production of the tooling (signed purchase order). Considering the fabricator's production time estimate, production could be completed by the end of July.  In part, this depends on their production queue and volume at the time.

SolidWorks 3D CAD Models - Andy McCloud, Vector Product Development

Video - Brady Lawrence

You can keep up with the latest news by becoming a backer, or following the modbox Facebook page, blog (+newsletter sign up), or our Twitter feed. 

Risks and challenges

While production technology has improved since the 1950s, metal fabrication is never easy, but I'm confident in my ability to deliver a quality product on time. I've built a strong working relationship with the metal fabricator, who has been in business for over fifteen years, and has experience in both fabrication and final assembly.

There are always issues that can arise, but the risk has been managed by obtaining tooling quotes from the 3D CAD models and fabricating a shell assembly prototype. That said, there is the possibility of tooling issues that may need to be resolved.

Prior to modbox, I have no experience working with a metal fabricator. I'm sure that problems will come up, but I'm confident solutions can be found. During the development process, we've managed to find solutions to all the identified issues. However, from experience, this may take additional time.

The target delivery date is the first week in August. I will make every effort to meet this date, or even ship early, if possible.

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FAQ

  • When I designed the modbox, I made sure the mounting holes on the bottom aligned to a $10 mounting plate (heavy gauge steel) sold by Gibraltar Industries. It is in stock at most "big box" home improvement stores or online. The model number is UMBS0B06. It can be used for pedestal or cross-arm posts (see diagrams #2 and #3).

    Here is a link to the installation instructions: http://www.gibraltarmailboxes.com/instructions/UMB.pdf

    Last updated:
  • Yes!

    For Australia and England add $50 to your pledge. The mailbox will be sent via US Postal Service Priority Mail International. Expected delivery is 6-10 business days to major markets.

    For other countries, click the "Contact me" button (below my photo) and let me know the country and I'll reply with the amount to add for shipping.

    A big thank you to Kelly in Australia who informed me that the good old USPS has better shipping rates than UPS, DHL, and FedEx (all wanted $250 plus!).

    I would update the pledge boxes for this, but after receiving one pledge they are 'locked' by Kickstarter.

    Last updated:

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Mailbox Numbers

    Vinyl mailbox numbers designed by font shop House Industries and inspired from Richard Neutra's work. [2" high x 6.75" wide | black or white] Two sets, one for each mailbox side.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Love it, got to have it! Just not now...

    Get $25 credit towards purchase of modbox products, lock-in Kickstarter prices, plus $15 off.

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    64 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Modern Mailbox Post

    Design inspired by post in Sears 1961 catalog. Angle accentuates mailbox. [1-1/4" square steel | 7 colors]

    Add $20 Alaska, Hawaii, or Canada.

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    11 backers
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    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    Midcentury Modern Mailbox

    Chose a black or white mailbox.

    Add $20 Alaska, Hawaii, or Canada.

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    8 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $215 or more About $215

    Two-Tone Mailbox

    Chose from one of ten color combinations. Two-tone color brings out the design's clean lines.

    Add $20 Alaska, Hawaii, or Canada.

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    24 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $280 or more About $280

    Midcentury Modern Mailbox & Post

    Chose a black or white mailbox and a post in any of seven colors.

    Add $40 Alaska, Hawaii, or Canada.

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    4 backers
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  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $295 or more About $295

    BLAST OFF -- Atomic Rocket!

    Receive a two-tone mailbox, post, and numbers.

    Add $40 Alaska, Hawaii, or Canada

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    Reward no longer available 60 backers
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    Pledge $295 or more About $295

    THANK YOU -- Atomic Rocket!

    Receive a two-tone mailbox, post, and numbers. Like the BLAST OFF, the post can be any of the five colors, black, or white! Thanks!

    Add $40 Alaska, Hawaii, or Canada

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    Reward no longer available 80 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $315 or more About $315

    Two-Tone Mailbox with Post

    Receive a two-tone mailbox and a post in any of seven colors (only black or white posts after campaign).

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    23 backers
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Funding period

- (35 days)